Jakob Werner, a 22-year-old animator and visual design student in Germany, decided to interpret the idea of machine learning a bit more literally “in order to create a sarcastic view at our society and into the future.”
The result is a wooden automaton that appears to “read” by holding a book, moving its eyes as if scanning the words, and then flipping the page. “The secret behind machine learning,” he wrote in the video’s description. “This is how machines collect data.”
Werner’s artist statement shows he’s thought deeply about this topic, even though his project is tongue-in-cheek.
“Machine learning distinguishes itself from memorisation because it has the ability to recognize patterns which makes the algorithm seem more human-like,” he wrote. “This is essential for machines in order to be considered as artificial intelligence. Though there are a lot of programs and machines that aren’t intelligent but just seem to be. They don’t solve problems, they are programmed to work around them.”