Other People Also Bought by Jonas Lund & Sebastian Schmieg, 2013 is an ongoing list of Amazon recommendations starting from the first ever product sold on Amazon and followed by products that ‘people also bought’. I won’t reveal more as the art/shopping site with all its carefully crafted nuances is best experienced for yourself. Its addictive, you find yourself wanting to endlessly slide down the human+machine sorted reconfiguration of infinite Amazon.
The project reminds me of two of my favourite projects - Dina Kelberman’s I’m Google that also has the scrolling page/ chinese whispers search effect, and Darius Kazemi’s Random Shopper which also plays around with Amazon recommendation economics.
Google now algorithmically ‘soften’ skin - an automated function applied without prior consent to all uploaded images using Google+. They say:
“watch what happens when we apply skin softening… Just gently and beautifully enhanced, we think you are going to love it when we apply it across your photographs”.
The strange keynote pitch (hr:min 1.43) for this service is reminiscent of product marketing for cosmetics. Perhaps we are witnessing the birth of a new digital cosmetic industry where skin products are applied to socially shared photographs, driven by a new e-consumerist pressure to improve online appearances. My guess is that a teeth whitening algorithm will soon follow.
This classic project was the starting point for Toronto-based artist Dafydd Hughes’ Every Face in the Americans, which saw him ‘feed’ Frank’s collection of photographs to iPhoto’s facial recognition algorithm to recontextualize the work as the basis of a web archive and a print on demand book. (via Taking the ‘street’ out of street photography – Every Face in the Americans)
Google executive Eric Schimdt discusses Google concerns which include ongoing improvements to search algorithms to use artificial intelligence to deliver ‘truth’ rather than distorted results caused by ‘Google-Bombing’ and misleading marketing. In response other talkers suggest that perhaps the algorithms are worryingly given power to establish truths. That conversation happens around minute 30.
*Face recognition algorithm
“The Venus of Google was ‘found’ via a Google search-by-image, googling a photograph taken of an object I had been handed over in a game of exquisite corpse. The Google search returned visually similar results, one of these being an image of a woman modelling a body-wrap garment. I then used a similar algorithmic image-comparison technique to drive the automated design of a 3D printable object. The ‘Hill-Climbing’ algorithm starts with a plain box shape and tries thousands of random transformations and comparisons between the shape and the image, eventually mutating towards a form resembling the found image in both shape and colour.”
Venus of Google, 2013
From the Long Tail Multiplier Series/ Algorithm
27.2 x 14.9 x 8.0 cm
z-corp powder 3D Print
A real-time map of recent changes to Wikipedia articles.