Subway portraits in the age of AI

Subway Portraits in the age of AI (in search for happiness)
is part of Cadioli’s ongoing research on the relationship between photography and machine vision, in an era in which we have to deal with Artificial Intelligence and its interpretation of the world. Taking advantage of the development of mobile technologies, the project takes machine vision experiments out of the labora- tories, into a Street Photography experience.
“Subway portraits in the age of AI (in search for happiness), 2018-2022, presents a series of portraits of subway passengers, superimposing on the faces of the subjects the biometric data that determine the probability of a basic emotion, in this case happiness.
The act of photographing extends beyond the capture of the light emanating from the referent and the new camera collects data not visible to the human eye but used for subsequent process- ing, such as face detection, image recognition, or the analysis of human emotions in real time.
“Subway portraits in the age of AI” re-enacts the classic Subway Portraits realized by Walker Evans in the New York subway be- tween 1938 and 1941, at a time when new possibilities of photography were being experimented.
Although without any scientific pretensions, an overturned use of a control system is proposed, to measure the happiness spread in a city, which appears, actually, very low.

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