• Wed. Feb 21st, 2024

This ‘camera’ has no sensor or lens and uses AI to ‘capture’ images

This ‘camera’ has no sensor or lens and uses AI to ‘capture’ images

Danish designer Bijon Karman A prototype of a camera powered by artificial intelligence (AI) has been built angry. The conceptual camera twists the idea of ​​photography and what it means to take a photograph.

Paragraphica – A camera that isn’t a camera

Karman became Describes, “Paragraphica is a context-to-image camera that uses location data and artificial intelligence to visualize a ‘photo’ of a particular place and moment. The camera exists as both a physical prototype and a virtual camera that you can try out.

Karman built an original prototype of the Paragraphica, a “camera” that could be held and used in the real world, but he built Virtual version.

The Paragraphica has no lens or image sensor, but still has a camera goods. Paragraphica produces an image, but it is not an image that represents light rays passing through a lens and hitting a film or digital sensor.

Note: Location data removed

No, Paragraphica uses location data and artificial intelligence to create an artificial, possibly realistic, image of a person’s location based on real-world data.

“The viewfinder displays a real-time description of your current location, and by pressing the trigger, the camera will create a scintigraphic representation of the description,” Karman explains.

Note: Location data removed

The camera has three dials that allow the user to control data and AI parameters that influence the final image.

Based on the location data, Paragraphica generates a text prompt that is fed to the AI ​​to generate an image. Additional data including time of day, weather, temperature, date, event, and points of interest can influence the photo generated by text-to-image AI models.


“The camera works by collecting data from its location using open APIs. Using address, weather, time of day and nearby locations. All these data points are combined to compose a paragraph paragraphica that explains the representation of the current place and moment,” says Karman.


The first dial on the Paragraphica acts like a zoom lens, controlling the radius (in meters) of the area the camera uses to search for location data.

The next dial is 0.1 to 1, which is the “noise seed for the AI ​​image diffusion process”.


Rounding out the dials is a guidance scale dial. As the value increases, the AI ​​model will follow the text paragraph more closely. Karman argues that this reflects the “sharpness” or “blurring” of an image.


“The star-nosed mole, which lives and hunts underground, finds light useless. Consequently, it evolved to sense the world through its finger-like antennae, giving it an unusual and intelligent way of ‘seeing’. This amazing animal became the perfect metaphor and inspiration for empathy with other intelligences and how they see the world, which is impossible to even imagine from a human perspective,” Karman explains.


As AI language models become “more conscious,” he adds, it’s interesting to think and imagine how AI models “see” the world.

This flow chart shows how Paragraphica uses location data and AI to create an image of a location.

He believes that paragraphica offers people a new and interesting way to experience the world that does not rely solely on visual perception.

However, arguably, paragraphica doing Rely on visual perception as images are created using an AI model built on real photos. Although the individual pixels are integrated in a new way, the camera is not free from the shackles of visual reality. Admittedly, however, it works exceptionally well within these existing constraints.

Karman feels that his camera provides “a deep insight into the essence of a moment through the perspective of another intelligence”.

People are crazy

If the measure of an artist’s success is whether they create an emotional response in their work, Karman knocks it out of the park with Paragraphica. There is a lot of talk about his work, and for good reason.


The AI ​​camera is a fascinating tool. However, for some it is downright offensive.

On Digital Camera WorldSebastian Oakley writes about paragraphica“It’s the weirdest, stupidest thing I’ve ever seen, yet I marvel at its engineering – but it’s not photography – or is it?”

Twitter user Linus Ekenstam is even more excited than Oakley.

Again, it is essential to consider that paragraph is An art project, not a specific commercial camera product.

“LOL, humans, welcome to the future. You press the shutter button and an image is generated based on your location and weather. Marques Brownlee writes. “It’s an art project, but still hilarious,” he adds.

Others ask what the paragraphica means and argue that the camera has no meaning. Others enjoy its design, which channels the spirit of the star-nosed mole mentioned by Karman.

Is photography under threat?

Is Karman trying to ruin everything by coming for photography? no

“There are a lot of questions in the (Twitter) threads, so I want to make it clear that this is a passion art project, not about making a product or challenging photography. Rather, it is questioning the role of AI in an era of creative tension. Karman writes on Twitter.

However, there is something about paragraphica that inherently disrupts the concept of photography, not necessarily in a fun and innovative way. There is something unsettling about it.


AI is advancing rapidly and fundamentally changing the way photographs are taken look Even threatening to upend the very idea of ​​ownership over art – photographers are making AI even more anxious.

Paragraphica is based on AI in a way that disrupts the physical process of taking a photo in the real world. This is something that even the most powerful AI model on a computer has not come close to achieving.


Paragraphica is fun to look at and fascinating to think about. It feels like a violation of the process of capturing an image, although it has changed significantly throughout the history of photography. every time dealt at least partially with the realm of reality.

Picture credits : Bjørn Karmann

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