Augmented Reality Filters and the Faces as Brands: Personal Identities and Marketing Strategies in the Age of Algorithmic Images

In Gabriele Meiselwitz (ed.), Social Computing and Social Media: Applications in Education and Commerce (Part II) , HCI International 2022 Conference Proceedings, vol. 15, Cham, Springer, 2022, pp. 1-12. DOI 10.1007/978-3-031-05064-0_17

Abstract. This paper analyzes the so-called “augmented reality filters” (ARF), a technology that makes it possible to produce and spread widely on social media a particular type of video selfies that are manipulated live while filming – for example, by modifying the somatic characters of the producer’s face. The first part of the paper analyzes ARFs in the light of a socio-semiotics of dispositives. This approach makes it possible to identify three interconnected aspects of ARFs: their technological consistency, which is closer to mixed reality than to augmented reality; their socio-psychological uses, and in particular personal identity construction through body image manipulation; and finally, their economic-political implications, linked to face recognition and social surveillance. The second part of the paper focuses on the marketing uses of ARFs and, in particular, on branded ARFs transforming users’ faces. In these cases, the radical involvement of brands in defining the identity of users requires a profound rethinking of the mechanisms of trust that bind them to consumers.
Keywords: Media semiotics · Socio-semiotics · Digital advertising · Augmented reality · Mixed reality · Enunciation · Identity · Algorithmic capitalism · Media experience · Dispositive

NecSUS #Intelligence is out… and it’s gorgeous!

The new Issue of Necsus_European Journal of media Studies Spring 2020 is just out, and it features the Special section on Media and Artificial Intelligence edited by Patricia Pisters an me… Enjoy it (and drop a comment, if you want)!

My paper on “The Post-advertising Condition Semiotics”

The primary hypothesis of this paper is that recent years have seen a shift from digital advertising to post-advertising: thanks to the growing role of machine learning algorithms in communicational processes, advertising has been losing the character of explicitly persuasive addresses to assume that of friendly and open proposals and advice, or even the simple facilitation of everyday purchasing practices. The paper seeks to understand if and under what conditions the socio-semiotic and semio-pragmatic approaches developed in relation to traditional advertising can still be applied to post-advertising phenomena. The paper is divided into three parts. In the first one, the advent of the post-advertising condition is considered. In the second one, Amazon’s Alexa, an example of a post-advertising dispositive, is analyzed. In the third part, the question of the use of traditional semiotic concepts and methods for the analysis of post-advertising is examined. The final answer to this question is affirmative, but on the condition that some new conceptual and methodological tools be introduced.

Keywords: Media semiotics Social semiotics Socio-semiotics
Semio-pragmatics Digital advertising Post-advertising Big data Machine learning Artificial intelligence Algorithmic capitalism
Media experience Dispositive

LInk to the paper: