the artificial self
THE ARTICIAL SELF
Who am I? What do I like? What do I need? Who likes me? In the highly individualized reality of today’s information society, these questions have developed a new layer of complexity due to the role that artificial intelligence (AI) plays in the daily acts of assessment and decision-making. How does this intelligence read us and how do we perceive ourselves through the rational filter of its algorithmic gaze? AI is more than a mere tool for processing the relentlessly growing amounts of data. It is a register of power operated by a handful of people which enables the subtle influence on large parts of the global population, extending the colonial practices of the past into the present and future.Based on design research into the current modes of AI in society, the project fuses the vocabulary of algorithmic computation with that of the portrait. Portraits have a long history in art and have been used consistently by artists such as Warhol, Sherman, and Bacon to raise questions of identity, intimacy and morality that address the urgencies of their time. In this project, a self-portrait, which is constantly being recreated by algorithms, is used to demonstrate, and demystify the functional mechanisms hidden in the infrastructure of artificially intelligent systems.