Memo Atken, Learning to See - Gloomy Sunday (2017)

Memo Atken2017/2017

Barbican Centre

Barbican Centre
London, United Kingdom

In this image from 'Gloomy Sunday' from Memo Akten's Learning to See project we see two visually similar images, selected by an artificial neural network looking out onto the world, trying to make sense of what it sees, in context of what it’s seen before. Here, a collection of car keys is likened to a vibrant floral scene.

It can only see what it already knows, just like us.

“Learning To See” is an ongoing series of works that use state-of-the-art Machine Learning algorithms as a means of reflecting on ourselves and how we make sense of the world. The picture we see in our conscious mind is not a mirror image of the outside world, but is a reconstruction based on our expectations and prior beliefs. In “Learning To See”, an artificial neural network loosely inspired by our own visual cortex, looks through cameras and tries to make sense of what it sees. Of course it can only see what it already knows. Just like us.

Memo Akten is an artist and creative technologist based in London. He is known for the reappropriation of advanced electronics, software and hardware systems for to create multimedia experiences that "change our perceptions on our relationship with science, nature technology and culture

The Barbican's AI: More than Human (16 May-26 Aug 2019) is an major exhibition exploring creative and scientific developments in artificial intelligence demonstrating its potential to revolutionise our lives. Part of Life Rewired, the Barbican's 2019 season exploring what it means to be human when technology is changing everything.

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  • Title: Memo Atken, Learning to See - Gloomy Sunday (2017)
  • Creator: Memo Atken
  • Date: 2017/2017
  • Type: Photography
  • Rights: Memo Atken
  • Medium: Photography