We've seen all sorts of weird and wonderful uses of AI over the last few months, from terrifyingly realistic deepfakes to expanded album covers. But this latest innovation might be the strangest (and possibly most impressive) yet.
We all know how a camera works, right? Basically, light enters the camera and hits either a frame of film or a digital sensor. But in the case of Paragraphica, a new AI powered 'camera', location data is the new light. (Need a palette cleanser? Check out the best cameras available now.)
Introducing – Paragraphica! 📡📷A camera that takes photos using location data. It describes the place you are at and then converts it into an AI-generated "photo". See more here: https://t.co/Oh2BZuhRcfor try to take your own photo here: https://t.co/w9UFjckiF2 pic.twitter.com/23kR2QGzpaMay 30, 2023
Designed by Bjørn Karmann, Paragraphica features no lens at all. Instead, it "uses location data and artificial intelligence to visualize a "photo" of a specific place and moment. The camera exists both as a physical prototype and a virtual camera that you can try."
On the 'camera' itself, the viewfinder displays a real-time description of your current location, and by pressing the trigger, the camera will create a scintigraphic representation of the description. Meanwhile, three physical dials let you control the data and AI parameters to influence the appearance of the photo, similar to how a traditional camera is operated.
So, there's barely any need for this thing to resemble a camera at all from a hardware perspective. But there's something fun, if not a little eerie, about the retro handheld design, although that bright red satellite in place of the lens couldn't be more sci-fi if it tried. Still, this week we've also seen a games console that looks like a chicken nugget, so anything is possible.
As you might expect, the responses online oscillate between 'this is amazing,' and 'why?'. It perhaps doesn't help that, in looking like a camera, Paragraphica seems to suggest it can replace one. But in subsequent tweets, Karmann shares, "this is a passion art project, with no intention of making a product or challenging photography. Rather it's questioning the role of AI in a time of creative tension."