Danish designer Bjorn Karmann has developed a camera that is driven solely by artificial intelligence(AI). Known as Paragraphica, the camera creates images based on location data and text descriptions. It does not have an optical lens, but instead uses API programs and a model to capture a particular place and moment.
Karmann, who is based in Amsterdam, was inspired by the star mole – an animal that lives an underground life without light. It feels its environment using its tentacle-like antennae, providing a different perspective on the world. Karmann was keen to create a camera that would enable other beings to capture their view of the world.
The Paragraphica camera exists as both a physical prototype and a virtual camera that can be accessed via the Pocket website. The physical device comprises a Raspberry Pi 4 computer, a 15-inch touch screen, a 3D-printed housing, and unconventional electronics. The camera has three dials that enable users to control the search radius for data, the image resolution, and the compatibility of the text. When the trigger is pressed, the camera creates a “photograph” that is based on data relating to the location and the text description.
The camera’s location data is collected from API programs such as Google Maps, Open Weather Map, and Foursquare. The data includes information about the address, weather, time, and nearby facilities. By assessing all this data, Paragraphica is able to create text that includes in-depth descriptions of the immediate environment. The model then applies a deep learning technique called the Stable Diffusion API to transform the text into an image.
The result is not just a photograph but a subtle representation of the place and how the AI algorithm perceives it. The images manage to capture the mood and emotions that are associated with the location. However, the images may appear strange or unrealistic because they are created by AI based on text descriptions rather than visual information.
Pocket’s ultimate goal was to create a camera that could enhance our understanding of the world around us beyond visual perception. The Paragraphica camera offers a new perspective on the world, allowing users to see the world through the eyes of other intellects.
Users can try out the virtual camera by visiting the Pocket website, while the physical camera is still in the prototype stage.