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17 April 2024

New publication explores the intersection between cinema and artificial intelligence

In his new book, Dr. Daniel Chávez Heras investigates the entanglements between the history and theories of cinema and the technologies of computer vision, an area of artificial intelligence in which computers are trained to identify patterns across vast collections of images.

Man wearing classes in a check shirt looking directly at the camera
Dr Daniel Chávez Heras, Author of Cinema and Machine Vision

Cinema and Machine Vision: Artificial Intelligence, Aesthetics and Spectatorship, by Dr Chávez Heras in the Department of Digital Humanities, will be available from Edinburgh University Press in May 2024.

Machine vision is a broader term that considers computer vision - a field of study within artificial intelligence - in a longer history of technologies and imagining practices, including photography and cinema. 

Cinema and Machine Vision is an in-depth study into the technologies, practices, and consequences of learning to see through machines, most recently computers. At its heart, the book is an invitation for film and media scholars to critically engage with AI at a technical level, a prompt for computer scientists and machine learning engineers working with images to critically reflect on where their assumptions about vision come from, and a call to both to recognise the fruitful problems of working together.

Dr. Daniel Chávez Heras, Lecturer in Digital Culture and Creative Computing
CMV Book

Cinema and Machine Vision unfolds the aesthetic, epistemic, and ideological dimensions of machine-seeing films and television using computers. With its critical-technical approach, the book presents to the reader key new problems that arise as AI becomes integral to visual culture. It theorises machine vision through a selection of aesthetics, film theory, and applied machine learning research, dispelling widely held assumptions about computer systems designed to watch and make images on our behalf.

Cinema and machine vision rescaled the world, from cell to pixel, detail to data. Daniel Chavez Heras shows us the parallel and diverging ways they have become worldmaking. A wonderful and necessary book that starts the story of AI where it should be started: in much earlier technical imaging practices of cinema.

Professor Jussi Parikka, Aarhus University, author of Operational Images

This ambitious and imaginative book explores how we can teach machines to watch films without taking away from our human pleasure of doing so. Equally well versed in the technical discourse of computer vision and the cultural theory of visuality, Daniel Chávez Heras issues an invitation to us all to envisage new ways of seeing and making with AI.

Professor Joanna Zylinska, Professor of Media Philosophy + Critical Digital Practice, Author of The Perception Machine

Cinema and Machine Vision Book Launch

The book launch for Cinema and Machine Vision: Artificial Intelligence, Aesthetics and Spectatorship will take place on 22 May, as part of King’s Festival of Artificial Intelligence.

Register here 

In this story

Daniel Chávez Heras

Lecturer in Digital Culture and Creative Computing


Cinema and Machine Vision

An event where the science and technologies of artificial intelligence meet the arts and theories of cinema.