Despite his often misinterpreted demeanour, Sneak enjoys a good comedy show. But if you were to tell him he'd have to pay for it by the laugh, that might stifle his enthusiasm for the ramblings of Dylan Moran or Stuart Lee.
But that's exactly what a comedy club in Barcelona is doing. The BBC reported that face-recognition software is being used at the Teatreneu club to track the enjoyment of a show and charge fans the equivalent of 23p per laugh. It would seem the club is literally looking to get the last laugh.
The club imposes a cap of £18, which prevents the easily amused from guffawing themselves into financial ruin, but Sneak still finds the entire approach a bit daft. Sneak wonders why there is a need for such mirth-monitoring, as he would assume that those with no sense of humour would evade comedy gigs like cats avoid water.
Still, such technology is moot for Sneak, as an accident with a stray blade server when he was a young IT technician means his face can't display human emotions, let alone laughter.
While the monitoring of laughter is a relatively innocent use of face-recognition software, it has led Sneak to ponder where the technology will go next.
Perhaps the NSA will use it to spot unhappy US citizens, snapping them up before they spread dissension about this new thing the Europeans call "responsible gun control". Or maybe advertisers will tap into CCTV networks and spot ecstatic or melancholic citizens to sell them Temazepam or Prozac respectively, and effectively commoditise human emotions.
But Sneak is being a little harsh on the technology; after all, perhaps it could be used to find his long-lost brother Snitch, who disappeared after carrying out Booz Allen contract work for the CIA.
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