An artistic project that reveals the face of Artificial Intelligence and explores how self-aware AI is

We’ve all seen the extraordinary images that have been created with the latest AI-powered text to image technology, and it seems the system does what it is intended to do.

Or is it? Recent news of leading tech developers suggest that Artificial Intelligence has a mind of its own and reached the state of being sentient. So I wanted to find out how self-aware an entity is that plays major roles in our lives, and what that looks like. I used generative neural networks (VQGAN + CLIP text-to-image model) with a different text input, asking AI something personal:

The result is a collection of 100 fully AI-generated self-portraits that raise the question of how self-aware and conscious Artificial Intelligence actually responded to the text input.

Credits

Concept, full curation, editing, post-production and artistic execution: Michael Hess

Note: I am not the creator of the used open source software, and just use it as a tool as part of an artistic project. Thanks to the VQGAN team for releasing their code under the MIT license. Thanks also to OpenAI for releasing the CLIP algorithm under the MIT license. Big thank you to Katherine Crowson who combined VQGAN+CLIP and developed the software and shared the code via MIT license with the community. Big thank you also to Ryan Murdock, for developing the BigSleep colab notebook under the MIT license that originated the VQGAN+CLIP approach. Big thank you also to jbusted and somewheresy who further build on the work of Ryan and who keep improving the open-source software and data. Without them, the community would not have the creative tools to explore artistic expressions and conceptually build on that.

 

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