Caffeinated Diversions
Sophisticated neural networks are complex and can produce surprising results. Extensive experimentation is necessary to tune the design and training of a neural network, and to discover what it can do. Caffeinated Diversions presents a selection of Scott Eaton’s daily exercises to discover what he can produce with the AI neural networks he has trained.

Each starts with a sketch—a simple line drawing. Then, the neural network takes over as it tries to process the sketch through the patterns on which it was trained; in this case, thousands of photographs of human bodies in various positions taken by the artist. As Eaton describes it: “in some ways the neural network was training me in reverse to draw differently, to get it to do the right thing.”

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Installation views of Scott Eaton, Caffeinated Diversions, 2018–19, in The Imitation Game: Visual Culture in the Age of Artificial Intelligence, exhibition at the Vancouver Art Gallery, March 5 to October 23, 2022, Photo: Ian Lefebvre, Vancouver Art Gallery