I conceptualized this exhibition with Kate Crawford to tell a story about the history of images used to ‘recognize’ humans in computer vision and AI systems. We weren’t interested in either the hyped, marketing version of AI nor the tales of dystopian robot futures. We wanted to engage with the materiality of AI, and to take those everyday images seriously as a part of a rapidly evolving machinic visual culture. That required us to open up the black boxes and look at how these ‘engines of seeing’ currently operate.
The result was the Training Humans exhibition – a show that looks at the “training images” used in Artificial Intelligence as a kind of vernacular photography, but at the same time as a kind of image-infrastructure underlying more and more digital platforms.