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28 April 2023

The Chaos of Raw Unknowing

This short film explores trust and the danger of anthropomorphizing AI. It is being shown as part of the Bringing the Human to the Artificial exhibition.

Frame from the film Chaos of Raw Unknowing showing how an AI interprets pictures as fields of probabilty
Still from The Chaos of Raw Unknowing video by Phenotypica, 2021

The Chaos of Raw Unknowing is a commission from UKRI Trustworthy Autonomous Systems Hub, supported by National Gallery X, for the Trusting Machines conference in June 2021. It explores trust and the danger of anthropomorphising AI.

The efficiency of AI in some domains, say facial recognition, may underpin impressions that computer vision is analogous to human perception. The filmmakers used Facebook’s Detectron2 AI to distinguish and identify elements within Michaelangelo’s The Dream of Human Life in the UK’s National Gallery.

Facebook trained Detectron2 on photographs and scenes from everyday life. Somewhat unfairly, the filmmakers ask the system to identify elements within a painting that lacks cues available within photographs. Ben Murray reflects on why a trivial human activity challenges the AI of today.

Watch the video below where Ali Hossaini interviews Phenotypica’s Neus Torres Tamarit & Ben Murray about ‘The Chaos of Raw Unknowing’.

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