Paragraphica AI Camera Doesn't Use Lenses| Inquirer Technology

Paragraphica: This AI-Powered Camera Doesn’t Use Lenses!

08:56 AM June 02, 2023

Artificial intelligence changes what a camera is as the AI-powered Paragraphica does not use lenses. It uses various sensors and AI algorithms to produce an image of your location instead of snapping a photo of what’s in front of you. The most noticeable feature is it has a red starlike component instead of a conventional lens.

Artificial intelligence is changing how we create images, videos, and other media, but only a few projects push boundaries like Paragraphica. Sebastian Oakley, an eCommerce editor for Digital Camera World, explained its allure perfectly. “Quite frankly, it’s the strangest and stupidest thing I have ever seen, yet I am in awe by its engineering,” he said.


Strange projects like this AI-powered camera offer insights into how photography and cameras may transform with artificial intelligence. I will discuss how Paragraphica works and why Danish artist Bjørn Karmann created this device.

How does Paragraphica work?

Close-up of the Paragraphica camera, highlighting its lens-free technology and AI-powered functionality.

Photo Credit:

This AI-powered image-capturing device creates pictures using sensors and geolocation data. It contains a Raspberry Pi connected to various APIs.

Push the “shutter button,” and Paragraphica takes your location, time, data, and nearby landmarks. Then, it turns these pieces of information into a text stream.

For example, Bjørn Karmann took a photo in Cliffordstraat, Amsterdam. In response, the AI camera took other bits of information and turned them into the following statement:

“A midday photo taken at Cliffordstraat, Amsterdam. The weather is partly cloudy and 18 degrees. The date is Wednesday, May 24, 2023. Nearby there is [a] parking and yoga studio.”

Paragraphica uses text-to-image AI to turn that prompt into an image. Consequently, this AI camera does not include subjects in front of you. Instead, its final image contains information from the prompt, not your surroundings.

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That is also why Bjørn Karmann replaced the conventional lens with a mole nose-like sensor. Moles spend most of their time burrowing underground.

Consequently, they sense their environment with their noses instead of eyes, which cannot see in pitch darkness. Paragraphica does not need lenses or “eyes” because it relies on APIs and algorithms. Users can control this AI camera with its three dials:


  1. The first functions like focal length adjusters in a traditional camera. However, it limits the area where the camera searches data, ranging from 10 feet to infinity.
  2. The second controls the noise seed included in AI image generation. Karman says this noise is “comparable to film grain.”
  3. The third is a “guidance scale” determining how closely Paragraphica will follow AI-generated prompts.

Why create this AI camera?

This Raspberry Pi camera does not replace traditional cameras, and Bjørn Karmann admits it. He said Paragraphica is a mere “passion art project.

Also, Karmann emphasized he has “no intention making a product or challenging photography. “Rather, it’s questioning the role of AI in a time of creative tension,” the Danish artist explained.

“As AI models are increasingly becoming conscious, it will be hard to imagine how they might see our physical world. The camera offers a way of experiencing the world around us, one that is not limited to visual perception alone.”

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“Paragraphica provides deeper insight into the essence of a moment through the perspective of other intelligences.” Also, the digital artist explained the mole nose-like sensor lets people “see” like an AI program.

Unlike conventional image-capturing devices, Paragraphica doesn’t let users see or understand outside themselves. Instead, it reflects a mimicry of human perception.

In other words, the AI camera gives a unique look at how we understand the world. Bjørn Karmann reiterated that the device is a mere art project, hence its artsy and abstract purpose.


Danish artist Bjørn Karmann created Paragraphica, an AI-powered camera that doesn’t use lenses. Instead, it uses sensors and geolocation data to produce pictures.

You can also test the technology without using his camera. Visit this website on your smartphone or laptop, enable location services, and see the results.

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TOPICS: AI, Camera, interesting topics, Photography, Trending
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