This article originally published on March 3, 2019
Photographer, Jimmy Nelson, wants to use artificial intelligence to ensure stories and images of indigenous peoples aren’t lost while western culture continues to dominate the internet.
The Preservation Robot — unveiled this week at SXSW — is an automated platform amplifying images of indigenous people on the internet with the goal of protecting these seemingly forgotten cultures.
“Indigenous culture is visually underrepresented – and often misrepresented,” Nelson said during his unveiling. “I’m taking a stand by launching The Preservation Robot. Using technology to invert homogenization.”
Westernization and the rise of globalization have put indigenous peoples in danger of having their cultures erased, according to Nelson. This program wants to help combat that.
The robot uses autonomy and artificial intelligence to place images of indigenous peoples in open spaces on the internet. These spaces include social platforms and free cloud spaces.
The Preservation Robot also uses automation in collaboration with search engine optimization to ensure the photos appear more frequently in search results.
After traveling the world to photograph indigenous groups, Nelson worked to amplify his images and educate people.
The inaugural set of images in the project were taken by Nelson, but later images will be from other photographers through the Jimmy Nelson Foundation.
Here are some of Nelson’s photos that will be featured in The Preservation Robot: