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Artificial Intelligence by Thierry Maindrault

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Thierry Maindrault’s Monthly Chronicle

We find ourselves once again with a new expression, out of nowhere and which has absolutely no relation to the associated definitions of its two components. I will disappoint a lot of you; but, a true artificial intelligence still does not exist in the state of our actual knowledge. It is “butter on a skewer” as our grandmothers used to say to underline an antinomy finishing as a sterility. Intelligence cannot be artificial, its emergence is linked to the biological functioning of a nervous system. As we have already mentioned, intelligence cannot be transferred, even from one brain to another. Knowledge could be transferred, gesture and knowledge are learned. Intelligence remains stupidly attached inside a single skull with its memories and operating procedures. How can one imagine a communicating flow between a biologically extremely complex brain, with capacities inexhausted to date, and a static molecular assembly ruling with “yes” or “no”, under a single conditional choice. Even an infinite number of optional binary sequences cannot affirm “I think, therefore I am”. Despite the enthusiasm of some people : artificial intelligence are only digital tools based on series of binary functions and without any multi-spatial interaction. What the simplest brains practice without interruption, from conception to biological death.

This evidence made, it does not take anything away from the increasingly important capacities of binary softwares that computer scientists and designers of algorithms have transformed into tools with formidable capacity and efficiency. All of our daily lives is, in all sectors, every day under the aggressiveness and performance of these tools that we must tame. It goes without saying that like all tools since the begenning, there are some good ones and some bad ones both for their own quality and for the uses we make of them.

Our Photography, two centuries after its supposed birth, is no exception to the rule of automation and the race for performance. Once again the “do nothing, we take care of everything for you” comes back to the fore.

Our Photography, two centuries after its supposed birth, is no exception to the rule of automation and the race for performance. Once again the “do nothing, we take care of everything for you” comes back to the fore.

Tomorrow your little “humanoid” will follow your order to photograph the daisy in your garden or your pretty neighbor you find so moving. No need to choose, optics, time of day, type of lighting, backdrop, suitable sensor, composition or any other constraint. Your servile robot takes care of everything once again. Your (or rather its) image will be immediately apparent for the whole world and recorded by eight billions small enslaved robots. Let’s not laugh, fellow photographers, because these rantings, already carried out technically, will be with you tomorrow morning. Let us console ourselves, our fellow musicians, cooks, sculptors and other creators are in the same bag, heaven for the tools and the extinction of our intelligence. Few of the new creators who call themselves photographers are able to do a manual focus, an adapted depth of field, a balanced light capture, etc. It is the same thing for the whole of our civilisation how many people still can still count with their head, locate a direction or remember a telephone number? Calculator, Gps and other Smartphones are not smart; but, they know how to destroy a large part of our intelligence with our benevolence.

The tools are very useful as are their successive improvements. Colleagues, please, let’s not confuse the use of a tool with a new way of life, it can become very damaging for the user.

In this technological race, the ultimate goal of which remains the flattening of our wallets,. Many photography enthusiasts imagine that the camera makes the artist. They believe that technological escalation is essential to reach the heights of recognition that they so desire. This belief is based on devices that are becoming more and more autonomous. How many times do we meet the M (equally valid for the Mrs) with a well equipped camera worth about ten thousand euro around their neck. He is the artist who comes and stick behind you and who ostensibly presses the small green button: “device please take care of this image for me”. Note that if it is the lady who is holding the camera in question, her husband comes over your other shoulder with his latest smartphone to secure the work of course.

I have no hostility towards technology, on the contrary, because I like to understand why we must change, how it works and how to use it (in fact this curiosity I found it among all the recognised photographers regardless of their style and skills). But, it is out of the question for the camera to decide on the determining focal length, the sharpness, the depth of field, the structural composition, the luminosity for my works. I am not delirious, these devices already exists on the market. I am very careful because so many equally important functions also exist on your computer and are quick to take over if you are not vigilant.

What wonderful tools, but please, photographers from all walks of life we must not lose our head, and brain and their creativity.

Thierry Maindrault, April 09, 2021

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