Vox: How fake AI images can expand your mind

UC‘s Tony Chemero gives commentary on AI-generated images

According to Vox, philosophers contend that image-generating AI will allow us to see realistic depictions of what does not yet exist, expanding the kinds of futures we can imagine as visual realities.

AI generated image of the Pope wearing a white puffer jacket

Pope Francis in a white puffer jacket from u/trippy_art_special’s post on the Midjourney subreddit

The article centers around an AI-generated image of the Pope wearing a puffer jacket, which went viral on social media. The image fooled some, but not others, because the image had giveaways that it was not real (i.e., blurred lines). Many contend that AI will likely advance to create perfect images and create a “hyper-reality.”   

Philosopher and cognitive scientist Tony Chemero, a UC professor of philosophy and psychology and member of the Center for Cognition, Action, and Perception, is quoted in the article as saying that it might not be a bad thing to have more visual information, even if it is altered reality. He and others contend that AI makes it easier for the mind to include new possibilities in how it imagines the world, reducing the barriers to believing that they could become a lived reality.

Chemero’s views on how humans can expand their thinking by interfacing with technology (“Smart technology is not making us dumber”) are widely publicized and elicited hundreds of media citations nationally and internationally: 

UC faculty member Tony Chemero in a grey jacket, wearing glasses, talking to another person

UC philosopher and cognitive scientist Tony Chemero. Photo/Joseph Fuqua/UC Creative + Brand.

Chemero also told Vox that any tool that changes how we interact with the world also changes how we understand ourselves, adding: “Especially what we understand ourselves as being capable of.”

Read the Vox article.

Featured image at top: Markus Spiske/Unsplash

Impact Lives Here

The University of Cincinnati is leading public urban universities into a new era of innovation and impact. Our faculty, staff and students are saving lives, changing outcomes and bending the future in our city's direction. Next Lives Here

Related Stories


Vox: How fake AI images can expand your mind

March 31, 2023

Seeing is believing, to the mind. In a Vox article on the impact of AI-generated imagery, UC's Tony Chemero, a philosopher and cognitive scientist, is cited as saying that technology has the potential to expand the mind. The article comes at a time when leading tech influencers are asking for a pause on the development of AI.