Center for Digital Narrative

Jill Walker Rettberg talking about her new book on the BBC

Machine Vision on radio: About the history of humans expanding our vision with technology, on Start the Week.

Jill Walker Rettberg smiling in front of the BBC offices.
"When we take a selfie, is the phone telling us the truth of what it sees?" asks BBC presenter Tom Sutcliffe.
Jill Walker Rettberg

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Professor Jill Walker Rettberg started her week on Start The Week, BBCs Monday morning show, talking about the ERC project Machine Vision and her new book, Machine Vision: How Algorithms are Changing the Way We See the World.

Humans have always used technology to expand our limited vision, from the stone mirror 8,000 years ago to facial recognition and surveillance software today.

Jill Walker Rettberg is Professor of Digital Culture at the University of Bergen. In her book, Machine Vision, she looks at the implications of the latest technologies, and how they are changing the way we see the world.

BBC Start the Week

"What is seeing? When I started work on Machine Vision, I had this idea that, self-driving cars, satelites, everything, there are so many ways we're using technology to see more and differently," says Professor Rettberg, expanding on the truth of selfies.

"The cell phone is telling us a truth. We think that what we see visually is the truth. Susan Sontag says photography is taking something out of the world, or that we think of it that way, although it's clearly not, now that we can generate images."

But how does machine vision connect to Monets impressionist paintings? Listen to the episode here (42 minutes) to find out!

Are fear and anxiety making us long not just for a technological solution but for a technological saviour? That's one of Rettberg's arguments in the book, which she will talk about in Bergen on December 15th: What does AI feel like? Three talks and a conversation.