You know that interactive meme site that takes pics with your webcam and makes captions at the top and bottom of the image? My girlfriend showed it to me the other day. We were pretty impressed by how well the software picks up on facial expressions and makes captions based on what the algorithm detects. Anyway, we played around with it for a while, got bored, and then watched some Frasier reruns.
Last night, when I was home alone with nothing to do, I clicked over to that site again to see what kinds of captions I could get it to come up with. For a while, it was no different from the other day. Right when I thought I’d had enough and was ready to head out and get something to eat, the page refreshed and a new button appeared. “Live caption.” I clicked it. My webcam light turned on and my familiar, stupid face appeared. Every five seconds, a still-frame was captured. Like before, it was captioned.
I let it caption me for a few minutes and I watched the picture pool fill with thumbnails of all the captured images. I was a little disappointed. All live caption seemed to do was take away the need to click the “capture image” button I’d been using before. I closed the laptop and went to the burger place down the street. I stuffed myself with bacon cheeseburgers and fries, rolled myself home, and went to bed.
When I got to work this morning, I opened my laptop and the website was still open. Once the WiFi connected, the page automatically refreshed and the live caption resumed. It detected I was tired and captioned the first picture, “NEEDS BETTER PILLOW - BEARD NOT FLUFFY ENOUGH.” In my sleep-deprived state at 7:00am, I thought it was pretty funny. I let the thing run in the background while I did my work.
About an hour ago, I remembered I had the site running. I checked the picture pool and it was loaded with captures of my face, along with various captions. As I scrolled through the more recent ones, though, something had changed. The captions weren’t lining up with my expressions. All the ones before, despite being silly, were more-or-less in line with whatever I was expressing. These last ones were different. Different and wrong. I downloaded them and put them on Imgur so they wouldn’t get lost.
I don’t know what to think. I was pretty sure someone was playing a joke and I tried to send an email to the site administrator to compliment them for making such an interesting site. When I clicked the “Contact” button at the bottom of the site, I got an error. I tried to go back, but again, there was another error. I tried going to the site on my work computer, but I keep getting the same “ERR_NAME_NOT_RESOLVED” message.
So yeah, if anyone’s able to get on expressioncaptioner.com, just let me know. The domain lookup says it isn’t even registered, but I’m assuming that’s a mistake because my browser history is full of my visits to the site. I’m not a superstitious person, but I gotta say - I’m not feeling too well after all this. It’s also getting pretty dark outside, but there isn’t a cloud in the sky. It’s not even 11:00am.