Objective Portrait

collaboration with Gijs de Boer

A subject recognition algorithm

As designers, we (Gijs and Vera) are often fascinated by particular objects without really knowing why. This project explores whether a differently trained object recognition algorithm can help to understand such relations.

Usually, these algorithms are used to very accurately recognise whether something is a chair, or a plant, for instance. But something interesting happens when the algorithm makes a ‘wrong’ guess. When it sees a plant in a chair, this guess is still based on something: namely, on how the algorithm is coded and trained. It’s almost a given that this is why the decisions of algorithms are never neutral. Yet instead of trying to erase all bias, we take this connection to its maker as a starting point.

If we explicitly train an algorithm on someone’s personal values, can it capture something of their particular way of seeing? While an objec recognition algorithm usually tries to learn the definition of an object, we explore the potential for a subject recognition algorithm: can an AI learn to see the value and meaning of an object for someone?

Installation, Dutch Design Week, 2022

I am a designer and researcher, currently working as a PhD student at the Technical University in Delft, as part of the Designing Intelligence Lab. My research and design work involves AI in creative practices, and I explore how it can be used as a tool for self-reflection.
I create publications, workshops, talks and installations for exhibitions. 

Exh, Pub, Talk

Objective Portrait (2022)
Objective Portraiture (2023)
Still Life (2019)
Dixit Algorizmi: The garden of Knowledge (2022)
Incredible Story of Algo & I (2019)
MushroomGAN (2022)