Face time comes to an end

The Faces and Voices experiment conducted by the Procartoonists.org member William Rudling has come to an end. It was part of the “So You Want to be a Scientist?” project run by the BBC radio show Material World.

Faces and Voices poster
Detail from the Faces and Voices poster designed by William Rudling

You can read our earlier reports on the experiment here and here. The final took place at The Times Cheltenham Science Festival. Here, William brings us up to date:

I didn’t win, but to be one of four finalists was special and the experience of promoting and researching the Faces and Voices experiment was amazing.

During the Spring Bank Holiday I was in Sheffield as part of the Bang Goes the Theory roadshow. During the run up to the science festival, finalists attended a roadshow event in Birmingham or Edinburgh. I loved “working the crowd” choosing random faces and voices – 885 Sheffield folk helped us that weekend, the highest number out of the four experiments.

A highlight was a visit to the BBC Academy, when all four finalists travelled to London for a crash course in speech and drama. Our coach was an actor and she puts through various exercises for relaxation and voice projection. I wouldn’t have missed that for all the pen nibs in Cornelissen’s. It certainly gave an insight into how actors prepare themselves.

The results of all the preparation work? Online, we had 2,258 people who took part via the web. Now that finals are over and the deadline met, my mentor and I can investigate 3D face recognition and the academic interest the BBC challenge has stimulated.

Many thanks to William. We wish him future success with the follow-on work.

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