Autonomy Cube is a sculpture designed to be housed in art museums, galleries, and civic spaces. The sculpture is meant to be both “seen” and “used.” This happens in several ways. Internet‐connected computers housed within the work create an open Wi‐Fi hotspot called “Autonomy Cube” wherever it is installed. Anyone can join this network andContinue reading “Autonomy Cube”
For a 2019 commission in the Barbican’s Curve Gallery in London, I took a close look at the most widely-used “training set” used in AI – ImageNet, a database of over 14 million images organized into more than twenty-thousand categories. The installation was made out of approximately 30,000 individually printed photographs, showing the precarious relationshipsContinue reading “From ‘Apple’ to ‘Anomaly’ (Pictures and Labels)”
Contemporary facial-recognition algorithms were first properly researched in the early 1990s. To conduct that research, computer scientists and software engineers need large collections of faces to experiment with and to use as performance benchmarks. Before the advent of social media, a common source of faces for this research and development came from mugshots of accusedContinue reading “They Took the Faces…”
While photographing and shooting a video of NSA infrastructures in Germany for Laura Poitras’ film Citizenfour, I was stopped and interrogated by police and military on a nearly daily basis. Although what I was doing was perfectly legal, the military still insisted on harassing me while I was doing my job. My response was toContinue reading “Eagle-Eye Photo Contest”
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 toContinue reading “Training Humans”
Sites Unseen was a major solo exhibition at the Smithsonian American Art Museum curated by John P. Jacob, where I presented my early photographic series alongside more recent sculptural objects and new work with AI. With this exhibition I continued my contribution to the ongoing conversation about privacy and surveillance in contemporary society. There wasContinue reading “Sites Unseen”
Contemporary research into facial recognition technology began in earnest in the mid-1990s at the behest of DARPA, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. The military wanted facial recognition to exist, so DARPA began funding researchers in computer science and computer vision to work on the problem. The military realized that to do facial recognition, researchersContinue reading “It Began as a Military Experiment”
Two condensation trails from unknown aircraft flying within the borders of the Air Force’s R-4808N Restricted Airspace. The R-4808N airspace is a section of classified airspace within a larger swath of restricted airspace in central Nevada. Uncleared military pilots inadvertently flying into “the Box” or “the Container” (as they call the ultra-restricted airspace) during war-gameContinue reading “Contrails”
This is a series of photographs of the skies in the Nevada desert. American military and intelligence drones all over the world are flown by pilots here (at places like Creech Air Force Base and “Area 52”) via satellite uplink. In these prints, small Predator, Reaper, and Sentinel drones dot the skyscapes.
This is an article that I co-authored with my friend and collaborator Kate Crawford, who directs the AI Now Institute at NYU. In the article we take a look at some of the bad assumptions and bad politics built into the architecture of the training data used in AI systems.