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uncanny valley

The Willful Fantasy of a Robot Art Critic

by Rea McNamara on February 25, 2016
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Scientists, we’re told, have invented a robot art critic. Joe Berenson is a four year old robot-cum-research project currently rolling around the galleries of the Musée du Quai Branly in Paris clad in a black bowler and white opera scarf. His robotic exoskeleton supports a camera for an eye; Berenson uses the camera to view hung works, and expresses his opinions with a frown or a smile. He’s the art world equivalent of Short Circuit’s Johnny Five, with a reportedly evolving, algorithmically-determined “artificial taste” thanks to his Rotten Tomatoes-like processing of the responses he observes in other museum visitors.

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