Are we to paint what's on the face, what's inside the face, or what's behind it? Pablo Picasso
This is a charming little video and a Vimeo staff pick.
We immediately recognize the lamp's response when its human counterpart's face is covered as intelligent. It's by design. An exercise in "expressive computing," the developers write that the robot has been created "to be aware of its environment, especially people."
In human biology of course, facial recognition, as opposed to what I suspect are far more limited (though still impressive) capabilities displayed by "Pinokio" in the video, is something we take for granted. It helps us navigate the subtleties of each encounter in ways that have been difficult to generalize across software and silicon. And its absence can be particularly vexing for the same reason. Jane Goodall and Oliver Sacks suffer from Prosopagnosia, or face blindness.
The lamp, "Pinokio," is powered by Processing, Arduino, and OpenCV technology.