Tina Fey Also Moves Like Sarah Palin, NYU Researchers Find


Tina Fey has been widely praised for imitating Republican Vice-Presidential nominee Sarah Palin’s voice and appearance. Now, researchers at New York University’s Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences have found that the actress also effectively imitates the Alaska governor’s body language.

"GreenDot" Project
"GreenDot" Project

Tina Fey has been widely praised for imitating Republican Vice-Presidential nominee Sarah Palin’s voice and appearance. Now, researchers at New York University’s Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences have found that the actress also effectively imitates the Alaska governor’s body language.

A research team, headed by NYU Computer Science Professor Chris Bregler, has developed a technique to detect human body language in video. Titled “GreenDot,” the project employs motion capture, pattern recognition, and “Intrinsic Biometrics” techniques. The tool shows that Fey successfully captures her body language (the clip used to measure Palin is from the Alaska governor’s appearance on “Saturday Night Live”). The moving bar chart in the below videos shows a comparison of the motion signatures of the subjects as the computer is collecting data. The deep blue bar represents Barack Obama’s body language, or “Obama-ness”; light blue is “Biden-ness”; red is “McCain-ness”; and the pink is “Palin-ness”:

http://movement.nyu.edu/experiments/

The goal of the project is to train a computer to recognize a person based on his or her motions and to identify the person’s emotional state, cultural background, and other attributes. The researchers have also developed a method to compare the body language of different speakers, which has yielded both unsurprising and surprising results.

While Obama fever runs high across Europe, passion for the Democratic nominee is especially evident in France-an Oct. 24 Harris Interactive Survey shows only 1 percent of the French public wants Obama’s opponent, John McCain, to win the Nov. 4 election. The researchers’ analysis suggests Obama h 500

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