REALITYBYTES (2023) is a web-browser which substitutes images and photographs on cnn.com, thesun.co.uk , and pornhub.com with equivalents produced by AI. This alteration results in a fusion of content that is both humorous and uncanny. The experience also reveals the embedded biases and racial tendencies within AI systems, serving as an exploration of AI's escalating influence over image perception and representation.
This project prompts a critical inquiry into the authenticity and veracity of the digital content that is part of our habitual media consumption, particularly in an era marked by the pervasive presence of AI.
REALITYBYTES works on cnn.com and thesun.co.uk, two platforms with distinctly different approaches to news delivery. By utilizing AI to replace images on these news websites, it challenges our assumptions about the 'reality' presented by these images. An important aspect of this project is highlighting the growing trend of AI-generated images being used by modern news websites in their articles.
The project also extends to pornhub.com, facilitating a study of the implications when an AI is tasked with rendering explicit content. This feature invites contemplation on the potential substitution of human-produced explicit content with AI-generated equivalents, a discourse that has emerged in light of the evolution of deepfake technology.
The REALITYBYTES plugin is compatible with Google Chrome and utilises alt-text and titles to generate AI images via Stable Diffusion. For pornhub.com, the title of each image includes an appended 'art' prompt. All images generated are cached on a server, which allows every user of the plug-in the same experience when visiting the website.
The project was officially launched at the panke.gallery on 29th June 2023 and is expected to run for approximately a month.