Telekom Electronic Beats

Can Microsoft Help Us Read Artists’ Emotions?

Microsoft recently stirred the internet by releasing a beta version of facial recognition technology on its Project Oxford site that attempts to read emotions from pictures. Users upload photos and the system evaluates the depicted face based on eight emotions: anger, contempt, disgust, fear, happiness, neutral, sadness and surprise. I decided to run press photos from prominent figures in electronic music through Project Oxford to see if Microsoft’s world-class machine learning techniques can give us any insight into their inner selves.

Sven Marquardt literally shows zero fear.

Sven Marquardt

Levon Vincent’s emotions range from contempt to fear. Sounds like a match.

Levon Vincent

Scuba’s kinda moody.


Grimes shows a very modest palette of emotions in her recent press shot. Except for the red eyes.


Marcel Dettmann is almost 100 percent neutral with a little anger and a wee bit of disgust.

Marcel Dettmann

 DJ Koze feels it all.

DJ Koze

Missy Elliott’s emotions almost match to the dot.

Missy Elliot

Oneohtrix Point Never seems sad.




Published November 17, 2015.