Fri, 08 Dec 2023

In her photo series "Wild West Tech", US photographer Laura Morton documents the culture of Silicon Valley in San Francisco. Her project focuses mostly on startups and captures young technophiles in their everyday life.

Laura Morton started to think about her photo project around 2012, when discussiion was ripe over Google, Facebook and other big tech companies taking over San Francisco.

"I see my project as documenting an historic moment that I think is a combination of the gold rush with the summer of love," Morton recently told RFI at France's Visa pour l'image festival.

"San Francisco as a city became really a city in the gold rush."

The 39-year-old photographer says it's important to understand the people behind technology "because who they are as a person influences the technology they build".

After nine years of reporting on early stage startups, Morton now documents people building artificial intelligence (AI). She's noticed a change.

"The people working on AI now are a lot more interested in how it's going to affect humanity," she says.

"AI by definition is trying to teach a computer how to act like a human, so the people involved in that are really interested in humanity as a whole."

Morton won the 2022 Pierre & Alexandra Boulat Award and has received support from the Magnum Foundation Emergency Fund.

► Visa Pour l'Image ran in Perpignan from 2 to 17 September 2023. It is also on display at La Villette in Paris from 16 to 30 September 2023.

Originally published on RFI

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