New AI Tool Calculates How Much Time Politicians Spend On Their Phones


Politicians are often criticized for their behavior which is described as indifferent and inconsiderate. Public votes for and elects their leaders. Whether they are local representatives or members of the Senate or Assembly, people expect them to be attentive to what they have to say and respond effectively. However, it is time and again observed that politicians are seen engaged in their phones when important bills are being discussed or when the public is voicing their concerns.

A software developer in Belgium has devised a way to hold these politicians accountable for their actions. Dries Depoorter, the developer, has created an Artificial Intelligence (AI) tool that will keep track of the number of times politicians stay on their phones during meetings. The tool is named Flemish Scrollers and is based on Python, machine learning, and face recognition. Basically, the Flemish government holds all its meetings of politicians public, and they are aired on YouTube, accessible to everyone.

This accessibility of the meetings has inspired the creation. It will recognize faces and count the time each one of them spends on their phones. The functionality does not end here. It leads to the video or a short snippet from the meeting being posted on Twitter or Instagram with tagging the politician in the video.

The tool was made public on July 5th, and it has been welcomed by the audience. However, the backlash and criticism are traced back to the people in politics. Arguments have been brought forward stating that it is an invasion of privacy. The public is affirmative to the use of the tool because it highlights the politicians who are lagging and do not take their work seriously. The developer, Dries is also the creator of other such apps like DieWithMe, Surveillance Speaker, and Jaywalking based on the same back-end mechanisms.


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