Behind last year’s buzz following the release of the text generator GPT-3 , there was another machine learning headline that gave cause for pause: AI controlled fighter jets had defeated a human piloted fighter jet 5-0 in a Darpa simulation. Looks like today’s fighter pilots may be going the way of the shining medieval knight in armor–obsolete and unsustainable because of catastrophic vulnerabilities on the battle field.
The kiss is a symbol of love and intimacy. Many artists have produced iconic works about it. From Gustav Klimt’s masterpiece “The Kiss” (1907) to Warhol’s experimental 50 minutes silent film “Kiss” (1963), artists have taken up the gesture of the kiss as subject matter. A black & white photograph taken in the 1950’s by an unknown photographer in Nelson, BC, provided the inspiration for the Kissing Project (2017).
In a recent post, I drew a distinction between two groups of artists that use Google Street View as part of their creative work:
It’s been a very difficult year for all of us. Economic hardships and the global Covid-19 epidemic have affected everyone this year. But despite the many difficulties the year has brought, I want to send out a quick message to wish you happy holidays and a good 2021!
The launch of Google Street View services in 2007 was followed almost immediately by the emergence of its very own art genre: Street View Art. In 2011, just a few years after the launch of GSV, Pete Brook of Wired hailed the emergence of the new genre with exuberant excitement, announcing that
The Street View car is like the ultimate street photographer, a robo Cartier-Bresson methodically scouring the streets and documenting what it sees — Pete Brook, Wired
While Brook’s article offers a great selection of early Street View art, the comparison between a digital mapping machine and a hybrid mashup of RoboCop, a Hollywood created SciFi robotic police officer, and Henri Cartier-Bresson, the flesh and blood pioneer of street photography in the twentieth century, may seem hyperbolic and somewhat besides the point when it comes to the impact of Google’s Street View images on the arts and popular culture.
The question is not as far fetched as you might think. And — even though this will not settle the matter — let me give you my answer right away: No, this post was not written by a machine. It was written by a real person, a human writer, me. I wrote it. But consider … Read more
From Duke University Press comes free books on pandemics and contagion. They write:
“Amid the worldwide spread of COVID-19, it’s a challenging time, and our thoughts are with those affected by this disease. In support and solidarity, we are providing free access to the following books and journal articles to help build knowledge and understanding of how we navigate the spread of communicable diseases.”