Sideboobs: Will robots respect our delicate human flesh when they inherit Earth? A dress worn at Monday night’s Met Gala in New York City may provide some clues.
Socialite Lisa Maria Falcone donned a dress designed in part by artificial intelligence, Vogue reported. The night was themed “Manus x Machina: Fashion in an Age of Technology,” celebrating a new exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art that explores how man and machine work together to produce clothing.
Designer Zaldy Goco collaborated with Conduit Projects and “computational designers” Nicholas Jacobson and Jared Friedman to craft Falcone’s dress. To do so, they used Grasshopper – an application program that utilizes algorithms for apparel design – including this case requiring “the meticulous coding and arrangement of thousands of mirrors in 24 sizes and four colorways atop a flat grid of patterned pieces,” as Vogue’s Elizabeth Peng wrote.
“[Vogue] lamented the exposed breast tissue as “a fatal flaw that code did not address.”
Along the way, two unusual issues occurred. Grasshopper apparently missed its deadline and requested another day to finish designing the dress; additionally, Artificial Intelligence’s initial design featured “too many Sideboobs,” even though it was modeling its pattern on a 3D scan of Falcone’s body.
Peng described the exposed breast tissue as “a fatal flaw that code could not fix.” That phrase captures one key concept underlying much of what we refer to as artificial intelligence today: while algorithms may become highly efficient at certain tasks, their “intelligence” in no way compares to that of even a toddler – they lack intuition and cannot learn abstract concepts.
Designers of clothes for another person would recognize when a dress hews too close to their breasts; however, machines built specifically for that purpose wouldn’t. The Sideboobs dress serves as an interesting but useful example of machine learning: Algorithms can be extremely helpful today but still cannot replace our own consciousness (yet!).
See a full view of the dress (which may still raise some eyebrows) in the slideshow below.