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Aikon Project

Aikon Project

Skediomata and the AIkon2 Project

Patrick Tresset, Frederic Fol Leymarie.
Goldsmiths College, London.

AIkon: Artificial/Autonomous Ikonograph.
Skediomata: Skedios: temporary, extraneous, matos: "thinking, animated"

Skediomatas are robotic systems specialised in sketching from life. The computational technology used to drive them is derived from the AIkon2 project. This research project hosted in the computing department at Goldsmiths is a multidisciplinary investigation into drawing. An activity that has been practised in every known civilisation for at least the last 30,000 years. The project is using computational and robotic technologies to explore the drawing activity. The main objective of our investigation is to implement systems capable of simulating the various important processes involved in face sketching by artists. The ensemble of processes simulated include: the visual perception of the subject and the sketch, the drawing gestures, the cognitive activity of reasoning, the influence of the years of training, the inter-processes information flows. Even if still partial, the accumulated knowledge about our perceptual and other neurobiological systems is advanced enough that, together with recent progress in computational hardware, computer vision and artificial intelligence, we can now try to build sophisticated computational simulations of at least some of the identifiable perceptual and cognitive processes involved in face sketching by artists. However it is still the case that due to knowledge and technological limitations the implementation of each process remains coarse and approximate. As a consequence the system implemented is expected to draw in its own (not entirely predictable) style.

The project is being co-ordinated by Frederic Fol Leymarie, Professor of Computing at Goldsmiths, and Patrick Tresset, a researcher and artist who has already carried out much work in the area upon which the AIkon Project is built.

The AIkon2 (Autonomous/Artistic/IKONograph) Project has received funding from the Leverhulme Trust to carry out innovative work from 2009 until the end of 2011.