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Experiments with computer vision: transforming and re-envisioning visual data 
Chrys Vilvang (Concordia University)
Gabriel Pereira (University of Amsterdam)
Bruno Moreschi (Collegium Helveticum ETHZ)
Aikaterini Mniestri (London School of Economics and Political Science)
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Combined Format Open Panel

Short Abstract:

This panel looks at the theoretical and practical aspects of algorithmic image processing, exploring the data techniques that train and enable machine learning and computer vision. How can these sociotechnical processes be reimagined to foster more radical ways of seeing the world through machines?

Long Abstract:

An age-old adage says that a picture is worth a thousand words. Although this has taken the meaning that an image can hold much information, it also reminds us that images are multifaceted and may contain within them multiple interpretations, practices, and subjective perceptions.

This panel engages with the way images have become a constitutive part of algorithmic processing systems today, particularly as they are variously used to constitute training data sets for machine learning. It builds upon much recent STS work that has sought to understand (and transform) the relations between images and algorithms, particularly within "critical data set studies" (Thylstrup), "ways of machine seeing" (Azar et al), or even "platform seeing" (Mackenzie & Munster).

The panel deals critically with the way images are organized, tagged, curated, and otherwise made to work within algorithmic pipelines, and the sociotechnical processes that they enable. Questions may include: How do image data sets constitute computer vision? How do image tracking algorithms define and represent minoritized bodies? What are other, more critical ways that data sets could be constituted? What human practices (beyond the images themselves) are not being highlighted in computer vision? How is/could fake or synthetic data enable alternative data sets?

This Combined Format Open Panel welcomes academic paper presentations, but also encourages scholars, artists, and activists to experiment with other forms of knowledge expression, particularly artistic and practice-based methodologies. These can be shown as, e.g., video essays, net art, short workshops, interactive modes of presentations, etc. Please include details on how your contribution would be best performed and we'll work to manage the different needs of selected contributors. We are open to academic research, but welcome more artistic and experimental formats, especially those that "think outside the box".

Accepted contributions:

Session 1
Session 2