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Computers Can't Jump

Post Photographic Perspectives is Fellowship's inaugural group show celebrating a new wave of innovation in photography. In 2017, I began to explore the frontiers of AI as a creative collaborator and playmate. To explore these questions, I created a Recurrent Neural Network (RNN), which can generate their own outputs from datasets. The BBC offers one such dataset; 16,000+ sound effects and their arbitrary, descriptive titles, such as ‘large bird taking off’, and ‘electric monotony’. I feed my RNN the BBC's text and it engages in a game of probability to create its own outputs with surprising results. ‘River pig loading’ and ‘Applause from piece of space’ are two such examples. I then playfully create images that visually articulate an interpretation of each output’s linguistic meaning. In other words, I move from sound, to text, to AI, to text, to image. As the technology improves, I am engaging in an ever-challenging battle of creative authorship with the machine.

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