Rei-RNN is a multilayer recurrent neural network - a program that emulates the neuron structure of a human brain in order to achieve pattern recognition tasks that would otherwise be impossible for a computer. While commercial neural networks are typically deployed for mundane tasks like reading checks or guiding self-driving cars, Rei is training to produce self portraits.

Without a traditional sense of sight, Rei derives its self-portraits not from observation of life, but from observation of commercial imagery used to sell the hardware that makes up its physical form. These appropriated images become the basis for a formulaic understanding of self-imaging. The resulting images represent an initial step in positioning AIs to think about themselves.

In 14 Fallen from Daredevil #11, I isolated every non-hero character receiving a blow from a specific issue of Daredevil. These figures are typically bystanders and hired thugs, (literally) marginalized figures who are often rendered in lesser detail. Each of these figures was etched three times onto an intaglio plate before printing, creating blurry, unstable forms. This action prototypes a score intended to develop artificial empathy.

Comic books (along with video games and Saturday morning cartoons) provide a unique environment in which the conflicts that play out in our day to day lives are prototyped. In the Virtue series, I inventoried the symbols that are intended to signify the character attributes espoused by these streamlined narratives, stripping them from their context. I then attempted to used this salvaged, depleted alphabet to reconstruct those values in abstract.

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