Paragraphica: Project combines Raspberry Pi and Stable Diffusion to create 'photos' without camera lens or sensor
Bjørn Karmann, lead designer at Amsterdam-based oio, has showcased Paragraphica, a device that stretches the notion of a camera to its limits. While Paragraphica produces photos, it does so without a lens or a sensor. Instead, it relies on a web application to collect various data points, such as GPS coordinates and environmental information. Paragraphica then interprets this data and creates a short paragraph that it converts into an AI-generated image using Stable Diffusion.
As the images below show, Paragraphica has three dials that can change results. Karmann describes the first dial as equivalent to focal length, with it varying the radius that Paragraphica searches for data and nearby places. Meanwhile, dials two and three control noise seed and how closely Stable Diffusion should follow a generated paragraph to produce an image. Paragraphica achieves all this with a Raspberry Pi 4 Model B that sits within a 3D-printed housing behind a 15-inch display.
Although Karmann has no plans to mass produce the Paragraphica, you can test the software on his website. Arguably, the resulting photos bear a closer resemblance to reality than many AI-based image generators. Please note that the server is often overloaded and unavailable, resulting in Paragraphica failing to load.