Are You You?


logo with the secon logo with two faces
20.09.2021 - 12:44

Dutch artist Tijmen Schep has created an online game around face recognition technology called The game challenges you to fool a face recognition algorithm by creating funny faces.

The game lets you experience how well - or how poorly - these face recognition systems work. For one thing, the algorithms are almost never 100% certain. Unfortunately these matches are often taken very seriously by law enforcement. In 2019 this lead to the first publicised false arrest. In 2020 an innocent man from New Jersey spent the night in jail because the police could not be convinced their technology might have made a mistake.

Not only does the game question the reliability of the technology, it also points to further issue: people might self-censor their behaviour because they fear the may be tracked, and this could lead to repercussions. For example, would you be be less likely to visit the Red Light District or join a protest march if you knew there were face recognition camera’s watching you, and your presence there might be used against you at some later date?

AreYouYou was made possible with support from the European Union. For the past two years Schep has been working as an artist in residence with Sherpa, a European research consortium that advises the European Commission on how AI systems might better protect human rights. One of SHERPA’s recommendations is to create a ban on large scale urban face recognition systems.

Currently there is a wider European campaign to limit the use of face recognition technology in public spaces, called "Reclaim your face". This game supports that campaign.

The work is a follow-up to “How Normal Am I?”, an interactive documentary about face detection technology that was launched in October, and has since been viewed over 650.000 times.

Try it yourself at



Are You You? is an educational project by artist and privacy designer Tijmen Schep. The goal is to show how difficult it can be to escape face recognition technology, but do so in a light-hearted way. It was made as part of the Sherpa project, an EU funded research consortium that explores how "Artificial Intelligence" systems could better protect human rights.

Sherpa logo

This website does not collect any personal data. The face recognition algorithm runs completely locally, in your own browser. No pictures of your face are uploaded anywhere. Period. Also: no cookies and no tracking. Only one thing is stored: the final score, which acts as a viewer count.

How to play

The aim of the game is to fool the "AI" into not recognizing you anymore. To win, make funny faces until the meter drops below 50%.

Here are some things you can try:

  • moveMove your head from side to side, up and down
  • tongueStick out your tongue
  • laughLaugh
  • glassesRemove glasses
  • handsUse your hands to deform your face


Another project: How normal am I?