How do we engage with the rich diversity of the natural world in virtual, digital space?
This project is part of an ongoing exploration of artificial life using deep learning to generate species of artificial insects, including their names and anatomical descriptions. The intention is to celebrate the natural diversity of insect life, not through the precise, sterile digital reproduction of biological insects, but in the form of new specimens that are natives of the digital world.
These new specimens are not intended to simulate biological insects, but rather to embody an insectile ‘essence’ that is born from machine-learning algorithms that are applied to datasets of existing insects, and thus leads us to novel, non-human understandings of the natural world. While the diversity and decidedly digital qualities of these new specimens both contrast and are complimentary to the unsurpassed creativity of natural selection, they also act as a prism with which to approach new perspectives and appreciation of the vulnerable, non-human world we too often take for granted.