A new project called Prosthetic Photographer involves a very real gadget designed to zap humans into taking better images. The system was created by artist and designer Peter Buczkowski, and it works with both DSLR and mirrorless cameras. Using artificial intelligence, the device constantly scans for 'ideal' scenes and uses mild electric shocks to force/train the photographer to capture them.

"The Prosthetic Photographer enables anybody to unwillingly take beautiful pictures," Buczkowski explains on the project's website. The gadget is a way for an AI to train a human, though the AI itself was first trained using a dataset containing 17,000 images, and those images were captured and rated by humans.

Using what it learned about quality photos, the Prosthetic Photographer AI identifies scenes worth capturing and trains the human behind the camera to recognize them. To do this, the AI triggers a small electric shock delivered through electrodes on the handgrip, which forces the photographer's finger to press a button and capture said ideal scene.

As demonstrated in the video at the top of this post, users can adjust the shock strength using knobs on the back of the device. "This system is part of a new aesthetic, based on computer-generated decisions that were taught by previous human skill," Buczkowski explains on his site. "The conscious skill of photography becomes obsolete this way."

The resulting images feature the AI's own aesthetic tastes, which are based on the images used to train the system. Of course, some of the scenes captured by the human who is being 'trained' are often... less than striking.