On machine vision and photographic imagination

AI and Society 36:1153–1165 (2021)
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In this article we introduce the concept of implied optical perspective in deep learning computer vision systems. Taking the BBC's experimental television programme “Made by Machine: When AI met the Archive” as a case study, we trace a conceptual and material link between the system used to automatically “watch” the television archive and a specific type of photographic practice. From a computational aesthetics perspective, we show how deep learning machine vision relies on photography, its technical regimes and epistemic advantages, and we propose a novel way to identify the latent camera through which the BBC archive was seen by machine.

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Daniel Chávez Heras
King's College London


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