Training Humans

In the latest issue of foam magazine (#55) which I received recently, I noticed an advert for an exhibition being held at Osservatorio Fondazionbe Prada gallery in Milan. Called ‘Training Humans’ by Kate Crawford, artificial intelligence (AI) researcher and professor, and Trevor Paglen, artist and researcher, it is the first major exhibition dedicated to ‘training’ images. These are images used by scientists to train AI systems.

Normally when I see an advertisement for an exhibition it closed the day before! Happily, on this occasion, the exhibition runs until 24 February 2020. So in the hope that I can gain some useful insight into this unusual use of portraits I have arranged to visit the museum on Wednesday 12 February.

Another interesting research pathway initiated by my initial reading into this exhibition is the role psychologist, Paul Ekman plays in the taxonomy of human faces. Ekman is a controversial researcher who believes that human feelings can be classified into six facial emotions. I have ordered two of his books so let’s see what he says.

By Coincidence yesterday I read on the MoMA website that a new Dorothea Lange exhibition opens this month. The introductory video contains a brief interview with Lange. She says:

The human face is a universal language. The same expressions are readable, understandable all over the world.

(MOMA, 2020)


MoMA (2020). Dorothea Lange Words & Pictures. Available at: [Accessed 6 Feb. 2020].

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