Perceptual bias and technical metapictures: critical machine vision as a humanities challenge

AI and Society (forthcoming)
  Copy   BIBTEX


In many critical investigations of machine vision, the focus lies almost exclusively on dataset bias and on fixing datasets by introducing more and more diverse sets of images. We propose that machine vision systems are inherently biased not only because they rely on biased datasets but also because theirperceptual topology, their specific way of representing the visual world, gives rise to a new class of bias that we callperceptual bias. Concretely, we define perceptual topology as the set of those inductive biases in machine vision systems that determine its capability to represent the visual world. Perceptual bias, then, describes the difference between the assumed “ways of seeing” of a machine vision system, our reasonable expectations regarding its way of representing the visual world, and its actual perceptual topology. We show how perceptual bias affects the interpretability of machine vision systems in particular, by means of a close reading of a visualization technique called “feature visualization”. We conclude that dataset bias and perceptual bias both need to be considered in the critical analysis of machine vision systems and propose to understand critical machine vision as an important transdisciplinary challenge, situated at the interface of computer science and visual studies/Bildwissenschaft.



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 78,037

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

Perceptual Anti-Individualism and Vision Science.Caleb Liang - forthcoming - NTU Philosophical Review:87-120.
Multimodal mental imagery.Bence Nanay - 2018 - Cortex 105:125-136.
The empirical basis of color perception.R. Beau Lotto & Dale Purves - 2002 - Consciousness and Cognition 11 (4):609-629.
Why Vision is More than Seeing.Melvyn A. Goodale - 2001 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 31 (Supplement):187-214.
Perceptographic code in visual culture.Leonid Tchertov - 2005 - Sign Systems Studies 33 (1):137-157.
The empirical basis of color perception.R. Beau Lotto - 2002 - Consciousness and Cognition 11 (4):609-629.


Added to PP

18 (#622,254)

6 months
7 (#129,899)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?