The Digital Ability to perceive Walls
>> Creating a perceptive System. The Digital Ability to perceive Walls
This project combines art and research approaches. We use a custom made rule-based cognitive system which simulates perception. The questions are: Is individuality an effect of interaction? Can individuality be a machines attribute? Generally: Why do we project human characteristics on non human entities? The broader theoretical background for our project is the conception of human / machine as a hybrid system transforming the humanistic idea of subjectivity.
Technological aspects of the custom made rule-based cognitive system which simulates perception: The goal was to create the most simple algorithm to which the audience attributes the property of perception. We use the Cinema 4Ds developing environment to create a real-time system which lets an instance (a shark) stay within the borders of a pool. The shark's perceptive space is a collision object (a very flat sphere) which detects walls. The shark reacts to this detection by turning around.
To tackle the above mentioned question we developed a very basic cognitive system (an "artificial intelligence") and studied its behavior in different settings. Conclusio 1: The feel of individuality can be created by means of interaction. Once a system with basic behavioral properties (a body, sensoric, reaction) is defined, it appears to show individual behavior in any complex situation. This behavior is a direct result of the relation between the entity and its surroundings in time and geometric space. Because of the complexity of the situation and the visual definition of the agency (the body) the audience conceptualises the phenomen as behavior which appears to be individual instead of thinking of it as a technical or random process. We have not proven yet, that human individuality is a mere product of interaction, but we see that for the presumption of individual behavior a very simple system of rules is sufficient.
In a second step we compared the attempt to simulate individual behavior via a perceptive algorithm to the simulation of individuality via the method of key-framing. Conclusio 2: The former proves to be far more adaptive situation-wise, since we simulate social behavior. The simulation via the imitation of body movement allows more detail, but needs to be manually adpappted to any new situation.
Screenvideo showing the artificial intelligence at work. It grants the shark in the pool the ability to perceive borders and react according to it. The shark is programmed in a way, that it recognises obstacles and turns if they appear ahead.
The code for the sharks behavior.
These are tracings of the behavior of the shark. Different individual patterns emerge from various ways to engage with the shark via purposely placed obstacles.
The Emergence of Indviduality through Interaction (A.I., Inkjet Prints)
The Simulation of Individuality through Interactionvia Perceptive Algorithm.
The Simulation of Individuality through Imitationvia Key-Frame Animation.
Escape the System via Perceptive Fails. Since, the body of the shark has no density, it passes through walls, if its perceptive system faills to react properly. This happens very rarely.