May 30, 2016
The Beautalyzer explores the potential for collaborative learning between people and machines. An interactive video wall displays the inner workings of a learning algorithm, which attempts to recognize the beauty of images. Participants are given the responsibility to teach the algorithm what is beautiful, by labeling images according to their aesthetic judgment. Simultaneously, viewers are given a vivid illustration of how the algorithm ‘sees’ an image. The installation is comprised of 10 wall-mounted LCD screens, a viewer-facing video camera, and 3D printed tactile interfaces. Machine learning is an increasingly important part of our lives, influencing the news we read, the people we meet, and the things we buy. The Beautalyzer hopes to pry open this black box of artificial intelligence. The imagery generated from inside this computer brain can be captivating, shocking and hilarious; regardless it offers us a cybernetic insight into the nature of beauty and perception.