A Machine Frame of Mind

As we continue to construct and inhabit a world that can be read by both humans and machines, the lines distinguishing us from machines will become blurrier and our identities more ambiguous. As the computational environments that surround us rapidly become more sophisticated will we continue to trust them more? If the computer can’t see something, does it not exist? If it can’t find your face, do you not have one? When machine logic and behaviors are merged with human eyes, the way we perceive and interpret the world will be radically different. A Machine Frame of Mind posits that the computer systems we use have become part of our peripheral vision, both metaphorically and literally. This heavily analyzed and machine-mediated version of the world is becoming the new normal. Not only is this new technological reality inevitable; it is desirable. The research trajectory presented by A Machine Frame of Mind invites speculation about the complicated pleasure of the abstract, computerized self that is created when the machine perspective is revealed, suggesting an alternative to the popularized viewpoint of the techno-apocalyptic imaginary.

A Machine Frame of Mind uses computer vision as design material for a set of projects that mix graphic and experience design, storytelling, and human-computer interface. Primitives is a trailer for a new narrative form in which machine vision and analysis affect the story by allowing certain elements to be revealed while others are hidden. This method of storytelling uses the constraint of machine logic combined with an imagined co-authorship with artificial intelligence. It suggests that watching ourselves through the filter of computer vision could expose another level of truth while also becoming a serious entertainment enterprise. Video Chatbot is an experience that allows users to interact using low level perceptual communication while their facial movements are transmitted through computer visualizations and sounds. When you are the source, or the “genuine” image, what does it mean when you are hidden and only the machine’s version of you is broadcast? The project suggests that the version of the self created by a machine might be more enjoyable and the moment of a machine recognizing you is not something to fear; it is something to seek out and embrace.

A Machine Frame of Mind seeks to familiarize machine sensing to provoke conversation about the role we want artificial intelligence to play in the future. It suggests that this quantified world is something we are both constructing and should continue to design for in order to demystify and expose advanced technological processes, allowing for the discovery of other realities that offer control and enjoyment of how we are seen and understood by machines.

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