Entrepreneur’s ArtPrize entry merges AI, ballet and chalk art
Dutch entrepreneur and artificial intelligence (AI) specialist Charles Elwood merges technology and art with his entry ArtPrize 2021, titled “The ABBy Project”.
“(We) take some really old, cutting edge technology and merge them together,” Elwood says.
The ABBy Project is an interactive and educational work of art that connects AI, cutting edge intelligence, ballet and chalk art. The facility will be hosted at the Hyatt Place hotel in downtown Grand Rapids.
ArtPrize, an open and independent international art competition, returns to its traditional format after a three-year absence. The festival is open to the public from September 16 to October 3.
Elwood’s installation will take participants through three interactive stations. The first station will have an AI video monitor that shows how the software recognizes people, objects, and even dogs. The next station will allow visitors to present three ballet positions that have been programmed to describe an emotion they are experiencing. Elwood partnered with Deos Contemporary Ballet to create the positions that could be recognized by AI.
“This will let them participate in the training of the AI.”
ArtPrize attendees will be able to access a dashboard that showcases the most popular types of emotional ballet positions.
“From that day forward, your sign will be part of the work of art.”
Dutch entrepreneur and artificial intelligence specialist Charles Elwood’s ArtPrize submission merges technology and art.
The last step of the installation will be a table with the open question “what would you apply this to?” Participants will be encouraged to write down any issues that could be solved using AI. On festival weekends, Elwood will be on site, adding another interactive element to Stage Three, where attendees can create their own pose or AI-recognized sign representing an emotion or feeling.
The idea for the installation came from Elwood’s passion for AI and how it can be used to solve real-world problems. This summer, Elwood partnered with the Rotary Club of San Juan, Puerto Rico and the Superheroes Foundation to help create a personalized AI sign language for a young woman named Maria, who is unable to speak or sign. physically accurately.
“Software as art”
Elwood hopes his installation will help people understand AI and how it can be used to express emotions and solve problems. After the festival, Elwood plans to take submissions and suggestions from attendees to uncover other issues like Maria’s that can be solved using AI.
“It’s a new medium,” he says. “It’s also a change in perception because I don’t think people think of software as an art.”
Elwood says the process of securing a location for his installation was difficult. It wasn’t until the night of the venue selection deadline that he got a call from Hyatt Place.
“I was afraid to apply,” he says. “But from all the rejections, you still learn something.”
The Hyatt Place team were looking for an interactive piece for attendees and were excited about the ballet component as several employees participated in the ballet.
A typical barrier for people is the negative connotation of AI and the security of people’s likeness and data. Elwood says he’s had some hesitation in the past about this.
“The more I understand about this, the more comfortable I will be to protect myself,” he says.
Elwood’s installation will use Edge Intelligence, which only captures what the AI recognizes rather than the full video. For example, when someone poses for the camera at the second station, the software will recognize a human, a pose, and the percent confidence of its accuracy. This information will be sent to a cloud-based database and will not include video or any personal information.
“I hope people come up with some crazy, crazy ideas for applying this (technology),” he says. “It’s an open canvas, and people can paint from scratch.”
Hyatt Place Grand Rapids is located downtown at 140 Ottawa Ave. NW. The venue will be open seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.
To learn more about how Elwood is using AI to help people solve problems, visit his YouTube channel or his GoFundMe page.
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