Started in early 2018, this project comprises a series of Instagram bots: automated accounts that post AI-generated content. It is an ongoing exploration of the collaboration between human and machine intelligences that often underlies online bots.

The project began with deeplovemachine an Instagram account that posted a daily image generated by a GAN (generative adversarial network), coupled with a caption generated by a RNN (recurrent neural network). Both of these neural networks were trained on tens of thousands of images and captions tagged with Instagram's most popular hashtag: love. In contrast to the imaginaries of artificial intelligence, this bot relied on a number of manually executed Python scripts for web scraping and other tasks, two open source machine learning models and a third-party service for scheduling Instagram posts.

A deeplovemachine post. (I ended up taking over the bot account.) Still live here.

Having exhausted the possibilites of love, I moved on to the selfie. In this case, a third piece of AI was employed: a CNN (convolutional neural network) that had been pre-trained to detect faces was used to filter out images in which no faces were detected. A third of all images were discarded, many that lacked faces and some others that did not contain unobstructed frontal faces matching the CNN's training data. Once the GAN was trained on the chosen 100,000 of 149,000 images the images it generated were again subjected to the face-detecting CNN. The aim in emphasising the machinic physiognomy of the CNN-GAN-assemblagewas to further explore object-oriented perception. The images generated were face-like in ways arguably more relevant to the opaque and alien logics of the neural networks than our own embodied perception.

A deepselfiemachine post (This one appears have solicited automated comments.) Still live here.

My latest bot kraxc_fun9o is an attempt to establish an autonomous artistic identity. Its username, for instance, was generated by an RNN and over time I plan to automate as much of its behavior as possible.