Our Lives In Data


Science Museum
July 2016

The Science Museum's 'Our Lives in Data' exhibition explores some of the diverse ways information about us is being collected, analysed and used. 'Big data' is transforming the world around us and as the amount of data collected grows, so does the debate around data ownership.

Data Mirror

Clay designed a magic mirror at the entrance to the exhibition that looks out onto the gallery space and explains how 'your face is data'. Our ambition was to create a playful experience that didn't frighten visitors but still showed how sophisticated systems can become when they are trained with enough data.

When visitors approach the physical mirror, our system comes to life and starts to highlight and analyse the detected face. We then estimate age, gender and emotional state in real-time and present the visitor's data back through a series of playful screens. Our software also records data as it goes, and is able to present the visitor with simple charts showing current visitor trends.

Data Profiler

Our social media activity can reveal a lot about us and companies can use this information to target advertising to our preferences. With the amount of available data growing these systems are becoming more sophisticated and making some surprisingly personal observations.

Clay developed a quiz that guesses a visitor's personality from what brands they like and dislike. The simple personality profile is generated using research from Cambridge University's Psychometrics Centre. The quiz ends by presenting a fictitious advert that has been tailored to the visitor's personality.