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Machine Vision in Everyday Life: Playful Interactions with Visual Technologies in Digital Art, Games, Narratives and Social Media

Objective

In the last decade, machine vision has become part of the everyday life of ordinary people. Smartphones have advanced image manipulation capabilities, social media use image recognition algorithms to sort and filter visual content, and games, narratives and art increasingly represent and use machine vision techniques such as facial recognition algorithms, eye-tracking and virtual reality.

The ubiquity of machine vision in ordinary peoples’ lives marks a qualitative shift where once theoretical questions are now immediately relevant to the lived experience of ordinary people.

MACHINE VISION will develop a theory of how everyday machine vision affects the way ordinary people understand themselves and their world through 1) analyses of digital art, games and narratives that use machine vision as theme or interface, and 2) ethnographic studies of users of consumer-grade machine vision apps in social media and personal communication. Three main research questions address 1) new kinds of agency and subjectivity; 2) visual data as malleable; 3) values and biases.

MACHINE VISION fills a research gap on the cultural, aesthetic and ethical effects of machine vision. Current research on machine vision is skewed, with extensive computer science research and rapid development and adaptation of new technologies. Cultural research primarily focuses on systemic issues (e.g. surveillance) and professional use (e.g. scientific imaging). Aesthetic theories (e.g. in cinema theory) are valuable but mostly address 20th century technologies. Analyses of current technologies are fragmented and lack a cohesive theory or model.

MACHINE VISION challenges existing research and develops new empirical analyses and a cohesive theory of everyday machine vision. This project is a needed leap in visual aesthetic research. MACHINE VISION will also impact technical R&D on machine vision, enabling the design of technologies that are ethical, just and democratic.

Field of science

  • /humanities/arts/modern and contemporary art/film
  • /engineering and technology/electrical engineering, electronic engineering, information engineering/information engineering/telecommunications/mobile phone

Call for proposal

ERC-2017-COG
See other projects for this call

Funding Scheme

ERC-COG - Consolidator Grant

Host institution

UNIVERSITETET I BERGEN
Address
Museplassen 1
5020 Bergen
Norway
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
EU contribution
€ 1 999 547

Beneficiaries (1)

UNIVERSITETET I BERGEN
Norway
EU contribution
€ 1 999 547
Address
Museplassen 1
5020 Bergen
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments