Machine learning creates professional level photographs

Discussion in 'Philosophy' started by movingfinger, Jul 15, 2017.

  1. PapaTango

    PapaTango Itinerant Philosopher

    Yeah, me too... :p

    I spout drivel such as this at meetings on regular basis. Some attempt to make notes and copy verbatim what I have said--and will often ask me to repeat that. Fat chance, as I am sometimes left in clueless amazement of what I just said. My psychiatrist says that there is a medication he can proscribe for me that will help with this. :confused:

    A simple example of technology forces changing expectations. For the past 8 years, my wet darkroom has remained packed up and some of it partially scattered here and there. I have LOTS of film gear, ranging from 35mm to LF. I really like it, but increasingly the reality is coming clear that what I do now as a photographer is simply not possible with that technology. Sure, it's fun to shoot film--but at the end of it the negative gets scanned and interpreted through the lens of the digital darkroom. It becomes more clear that the path progresses along the fully digital--as my expectations for outcome have become immutably reshaped.

    Now, why do I ramble on with this "old guy muses boringly" brain fart? Simply as an example of how the increasing use of technologically driven capability has changed my expectations--and reordered my acceptance of older forms. I have come to depend on a camera that assists me with decisions, and executes tasks without my intervention. Processing has moved to a platform that applies complex sets of steps into simple mouse clicks that perform the actions. And I have become conditioned to value the manner in which those outcomes are presented.

    I see the next level of all of this moving toward a schema that 'suggests' certain options based on not only the image content--but the accumulated registration of choices I have made in the past. When done totally 'old school' by trial and error, preference and satisfaction--we have called this the 'artist's style.' Can tech at some point create art in and of its own volition based on some internal or external factor? I believe so. Will there come a point that art of all sorts is created for us? I think that is a possibility.

    Don't ask me to repeat any of this...o_O
  2. AI seems to me already outside the box, "outside the box" probably being the robotic concept here.

    "Creativity" has become a vacuous word we pat ourselves on the back with. My guess is that scientists moving forward in the area of AI are some of the more creative people on the planet. Not liking the results of other's creativity is a) no reason not to see it as creative and b) par for the course in the masses often rejecting what they have no cultural or aesthetic markers yet for accepting.

    Of course, there's a difference between the creativity of the scientists working on AI and the potential creativity of AI machines. Many, if not most, photographers are already using a meager form of AI when they use AUTO or SEMI-AUTO modes that allow their camera machines to make decisions for them.

    If a machine winds up making photos that can in some way challenge me, bring it on. If I prejudge and reject these photos based on how they are made (which is what's already done in certain very egocentric purist circles and in insipid film vs. digital debates) then I'm stuck in the very box I'm supposed to be thinking outside of, according to the cultural programming that tells me I'm supposed to think outside the box if I want to be a creative photographer.

    I wonder if the rejection of AI is a fear of competition? Maybe human beings will benefit from the dose of humility machines doing what we can do could bring. I mean look where our hubris has gotten us!
    sjmurray likes this.
  3. Norman 202

    Norman 202 i am the light

    mf, has there ever been a photo produced that didn't involve some kind of science - chemistry, physics, maths, design, etc- let alone AI.

    And what about those dumb photos of Saturn. not a jacker insight:)
  4. Thought experiment: give a blind person, a three year old, a chimpanzee, and a robot a camera and have them all go out and take a lot of photos. Throw in a person from different birth cohorts up to age 100. Then, randomly print a bunch of them up for a gallery presentation, matted and framed. How different will these photos be from what is already commonly seen as contemporary conceptual art? Who decides?

    Aren’t we all just robots with cameras ?
  5. Norman: No there has not. There has not been a painting produced that did not involve science either, even the prehistoric cave paintings needed 'science' to make the sauce that created the images that we see today. I use science and even AI in my editing of photographs in photoshop, e.g. "content aware fill" edits. Talk about standing on the shoulders of giants....

    Yes, when it comes to AI in our lives we are on a slippery slope, lines are blurred, the camel's nose is under the tent. Use whatever metaphor you wish, there are plenty to describe the inevitable process of slip-sliding into an uncertain future. I'm enjoying reading the comments being made in this thread. We each in our own way interpret the tea leaves and read the handwriting on the wall and come to our own personal conclusions as to what we choose to call 'photography.' I hope that as the future unfolds in this information age the thought police, who are gaining increasing sway, never gain so much power as to compel us what we must personally accept as 'photography.' Yes, museums and government regulators will probably call machine stitched compilations of street view images using the latest AI 'photography' but I can dig in my heels and resist, if only to maintain a modicum of individuality.
  6. Wouldn't that be the same as aesthetically conforming objects randomly appearing in nature, without conscious inputs. The difference of such objects with art is, there is no artist's expression involved.

    These cases are different though from an AI robot taking pictures, who works via well defined rules as opposed to a random process.
    PapaTango likes this.
  7. Sandy Vongries

    Sandy Vongries Administrator Staff Member

    And the origin and meaning of the word science? Required in order to do just about anything.
  8. "These cases are different though from an AI robot taking pictures, who works via well defined rules as opposed to a random process."

    Today, Supriyo

    And there's tomorrow..

    "And the origin and meaning of the word science? Required in order to do just about anything. "Sandy.

    Look in your pocket Sandy at that little phone; that was once tomorrow...not so long ago.
  9. Sandy Vongries

    Sandy Vongries Administrator Staff Member

    Sorry, Allen, the nasty little device sits in the car, virtually never in my pocket!
  10. PapaTango

    PapaTango Itinerant Philosopher

    Well Supriyo, now you have done it--opened the door and let Schrodinger's Cat out for a walk on the slippery rocks... Yes, the terminus to that line comes from Edie Brickell's "What I Am," which started a loop play in my head about 5 posts ago... o_O

    The infamous "thing in itself" comes into play here--a world filled with 'noumenons' that do not require us to lend them meaning or purpose for them to exist and contain meaning in their own right of 'self-standing.' Consider for a moment all of the photos of bugs, leaves, landscapes, and even human produced fabric elements taken out of their greater context. In our happy process of rationalizing and making the fact that everything happens at once and creating a 'safe' perception of that sort of structured chaos--many things are ignored or simply melded into a more gestalt palette. We touched on this in a recent discussion here.

    One may very well posit that photography is a random process--I would state that this is hardly so even in the case of the most serendipitous photo opportunity. We are all operating on a set of set of 'well defined' cognitive and perceptual rules--otherwise we would not "see" the vast majority of subjects that we choose to interpret via the medium of photography. This predisposition to perceptual selection is likely what forms the foundation of 'becoming' a photographer--as opposed to just a casual observer moving through our space-time continuum with that damned live/dead cat in tow.

    Now the really hard question. With either AI or individual brains--where has the set of "well defined rules" originated from? Photography contains its own prescribed rules of what is art and what is that famous "Kodak Moment" dad created in the back yard with the kids. Those who know the rules--and either how to apply them or how to break them in alluring fashion--are the ones who succeed with art--or redefine what the art is about. BTW, any kind of rules are a form of algorithm--the input of multiple sources of data to arrive at a selection of actions or inactions. How the brain creates these algorithms is the NEXT huge step forward in the development of AI, as this is not all simply reducible to algebraic structure. About that singularity thing... :rolleyes:

    Gotta go, as the musical brain shuffle has just started playing Joan Osborne's "What If God Was One of Us?" :cool:
    sjmurray likes this.
  11. But it has a place in your in your life....pocket or car its there.
  12. I think, sometimes, like when nature seems to be imitating art, which actually does happen, I would consider nature to be art even though there's no artist's intent. I don't think an artist's intent is necessary for art. This is where I think art can come into play through a way of seeing and not only through the material production of something. Akin to conceptual art. I see a church in the fog in muted colors and I get a certain kind of feeling from it and I relate it to Monet's Rouen Cathedral in the fog. I think there's art in that. I think there's art in nature. I think there's art in nature even when we don't relate it to already existing art. I think we frame nature artfully in our perceptions all the time. I think there's also art in the buzz and hum and lights and life of the city. I think art can be in the combination of stimulus and response and not just in the combination of intention, creation, and response.

    I think sometimes art comes into existence by declaration, by declaration of non-artists, even though there was no intention to create art by an artist. I also think it can be temporary, even fleeting.

    Supriyo, I agree with your saying the cases you were discussing are different from AI creations.

    I wonder if someday we'll discover just how "artificial" human intelligence is. You never know! (as the Twilight Zone music rises in the background . . .)

    These distinctions we're assuming may slowly slip away.
    PapaTango likes this.
  13. Sandy Vongries

    Sandy Vongries Administrator Staff Member

    As may we -- Rod Serling R.I.P!
  14. "About that singularity thing"

    Thing for us but not a thing for A1.Perhaps they will try to explain it to us....but methinks it would like explaining calculus to our pet dog. Maybe we will become pets loved and cherished or perhaps as simple minded parents who are cherished and of need of a lot of loving...
    Should we not have eaten that apple on reflection. Perhaps the apple will be taken away from us so we will no longer feel the need to pass waste in our home or go out and kill someone..

    The future seems bright.
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2017
  15. Maybe they will poop scoop for us.
  16. Sandy Vongries

    Sandy Vongries Administrator Staff Member

    Not as long as I have a cartridge left.
  17. "Not as long as I have a cartridge left" Sandy.

    Your phone TV computer are extensions of yourself as is your car....and your gun. You are already immersed in technology and it will continue.

    PapaTango likes this.
  18. Sandy Vongries

    Sandy Vongries Administrator Staff Member

    Don't use TV, Phone almost never -- no issue with useful technology, but any day I chose to, where I live I can enjoy a lifestyle almost entirely in another era.
    No interest in being "assimilated".
  19. "Allen, there's no "they". The A.I. will be us"

    Children of us..

  20. Sandy they are coming.

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