Erroar! speaks to the errant and noise that emerge from experiments of intelligence agents for understanding human’s cognitive functions through artificial neural networks, and how these technological errors open up new creative potentials that in return reconfigure our perceptions, affect and imaginations. Three works are interlaced into the installation of Erroar!, involving results generated from the process in which artist uses open data in various formats to train prevalent machine learning algorithms such as RNN (recurrent neural network) and CNN (convolutional neural network). The multimedia trilogy foregrounds the infrastructure of algorithmic systems that mobilize the production of image, sound and text.
Commissioned by Inside Out Art Museum for its exhibition The Lonely Spirit
In 2014, in order to defeat high-profile Go player Lee Sedol, AlphaGo is allegedly powered by 1920 CPUs and 280 GPUs. The first work Erroar!#1 is a pixel art image that is made up of 1920 images of CPUs and 280 images of GPUs to materialize AlphaGo Lee’s hardware use, or its “brain capacity” on a 1-1 scale. It shows one of the key problems of current AI technologies that AI has to consume enormous electricity and computing power in order to learn from large datasets (memories and experiences).
Erroar!#2 visualizes machine-imagined news headlines that are trained from Toutiao’s open database. It reveals the incomplete states of machine learnt knowledge due to lack of training time and computing resources. In the style of Toutiao headlines, these generated language is almost incomprehensible for humans, without following the common use of Chinese syntax. Inventing new cultural myths, the illegibility of the machine-imagined headlines leaves silent roar in minds of the readers.
Erroar!#3 is a three-channel video essay that traces the economy of artificial intelligence and how its applications have co-mingled with the development of human living conditions. The video revives a desktop scene -- clicking through hyperlinked web pages to gradually trigger open over 50 browser windows embedded with video clips and generative softwares, which are all engineered by the artist. From the birth of one single pixel on a screen, to the algorithm-generated visuals enabled by inceptionism, the video falls into maelstroms and rainbow spectrum, an ouroboric deep dream. This work aggregates a large amount of visual spectacles and fantasies of AI and technologies in popular culture and stock photograph database. The sound work accompanied to the video is also composed with machine generated sonic materials to enhance the pareidolia, representing a hyper-reality of our collective fear and resistance, hope and reflections.