5 in 5: No algorithm for human flaw

I started out wanting to explore the inherent differences between computers and humans. I asked myself “what can humans do that computers can’t and vice versa?  There has been so much speculation on whether AI and computers will become dangerous enemies or at best subservient and benevolent friends.  I am interested in exploring what drives these ideas and how we can explore the differences between people and computers without preconceived judgements or fears.   Additionally, I would like to explore how we compliment each other, for instance how a computer can create a perfectly straight line or a geometrically perfect circle, something that is impossible for a person.

Process:

Computers vs. humans

How can I make a project that highlights inherent differences between human and computer without judgement or sentiment? What makes us human and computers machines?

 

Mindmap
Project question
Rough sketch

 

After making a mind map of AI, I narrowed down the inherent characteristics that I was most interested in- ability to perform complex calculations instantly, logic-based process, no emotion, processing power, binary language. I am also really intrigued by the fact that computers can not generate anything random, they must follow logic and rules.

I was very inspired by the work of Kewandeep Virdee, who does a lot of digital design and tech projects and found himself burned out and wanting to make basic hand-drawn sketches.  He spent a year making very methodical, but beautiful and somewhat mathematical drawings often using nothing but lines.  He spent a year doing nothing but this kind of art and found it to like a meditative sabbatical from his tech work.  In essence- it was very human and physical.

Here is some of his work:

Kewandeep Virdee hand-drawn sketches

Precendents:

  1. Kewandeep Virdee
  2. Psuedo-random algorithms (i.e. ones used in online poker)
  3. Random.org (site that uses white noise input to generate random outcomes online for computer applications)

Idea:

Create a projection of constantly drawing lines that project onto while wall in an art gallery or a space within a park. The projections would be computer generated set of lines projected on the walls and the audience would be able to choose a colored marker and simply trace over the pattern lines being drawn by the computer projection.

The lines the person makes are very “flawed” and impossible to predict.  They are truly random and unique to each person that hold the pen.  Their unique randomness creates and overlaid image that has it’s own “human” beauty overlaid on perfect geometric patterns of the computer. Both lines and drawings are impossible for the other to achieve: a computer cannot create a random pattern and a human cannot make a perfect line with only his hand, yet both are aesthetically beautiful and wonderful.

Audience:

  • people interested in AI / digital art or tech
  • people in parks (if the show is in a public place)

 

Prototype:

“There is no algorithm for human flaw”

Side by side sketches of prototype

Notes on process:  

My arm and lines were very physical and changed greatly depending on my focus level, how long I had been drawing, the angle of the pen, the speed I drew at…there were so many factors that influenced my lines that I didn’t predict. Each one was very organic- very different from the endlessly perfect generating lines from my computer!  

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