We now know what it looks like when a neural network dies.
This strange new experience is courtesy of an artist who identified herself only as “the girl who talks to AI” in an email to Vice. For a recent project titled “What I saw before the darkness,” she programmed an artificial intelligence to generate a human-looking face, then shut off its own neurons one at a time — a process she recorded and shared in a time-lapse video.
The “death” of the neural network is downright unsettling.
What starts as a normal-looking face slowly takes on strange glitches — lines shift, colors change, and features blur until the face is no longer a face at all, replaced instead by blobs of brown and white that eventually fade to black.
According to the artist, the subject of the project may be a creative AI, but her hope is that it reveals something new about humans.
“The brain constructs a different reality, but there is no one to call a bluff,” she told Vice. “Neuroscientists tell us deep neural networks are similar to the visual system in certain aspects, so this project for me is a unique opportunity to see the world changing in someone’s mind, albeit artificially.”
READ MORE: Watching AI Slowly Forget a Human Face Is Incredibly Creepy [Vice]
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