Paragraphica, the lensless “camera” takes pictures with AI

Paragraphica, la "fotocamera" senza obiettivo fa foto con l'AI thumbnail

It doesn’t have a sensor or a lens, but it does produce an image when you press the shutter button: Paragraphica is a camera that uses generative artificial intelligence (AI).. Instead of capturing the light data of the scene in front of him, Paragraphica writes a paragraph of text (called prompt) by including the geolocation and other parameters such as climate and date. Then send it to Stable Diffusion, that takes care of the rest and recomposes a “photo”, interpreting the information provided in its own way.

Paragraphica, the AI ​​camera that doesn’t have a lens

Paragraphica is a creation by the Danish artist Bjørn Karmannwho created it to examine “the role of artificial intelligence in a period of intense creative tension”. It is certainly not an attempt to revolutionize the market of “human” photographybut an experiment he wants probe the use of artificial intelligence as a medium for the perception of reality.

The physical version of Paragraphica is a single piecebut Karmann has also created a software version of the camera, which can be used directly from the artist’s website (remember to enable location services before trying it).

Paragraphica looks like one 3D printed camera with a Raspberry Pi 4 inside. It has three knobs that allow you to change some settings. The first determines the image search range and references based on the GPS position. The second adds digital noise to the image. The third changes how faithful the text is to the prompt: for the artist, this is one metaphor of focusing in a traditional camera. On the back of the machine you can see first the generated text and then the image obtained with Stable Diffusion.

According to the artist, Paragraphica “enables us to perceive the world around us in a way that is not limited to just visual perception. Thanks to localization and visual synthesis algorithms, it offers one deeper look into the essence of a world through the experience of other intelligences”.

A Rreflection on the role of AI, but also on how the world of photography is evolving. Technology has already been changing the “reality” of photographs for some time: Paragraphica tries to go to the extreme to provoke. What do you think about it? Let us know in the comments.