Es Devlin, artist, and a renowned stage designer that, among others has collaborated with Kanye West and Beyonce, announced in her Google blog post that in cooperation with coder Ross Godwin and Google’s Arts & Culture Lab she has come up with another ‘artistic’ project that involves artificial intelligence.
What the joint efforts have come up with is a web app to which you feed a selfie or another image, along with an initial word, based on which it creates a randomly constructed poem that is placed over the image. As The Verge puts it, “basically, it’s an Instagram filter paired with a few lines of AI-generated poetry.”
Coder Ross created software that generates the poetry, based on a large selection of 19th-century poems, that includes more than 25 million words. Devlin applied the program to a lion statue on London’s Trafalgar Square that picks up words and then generates poetry and a special photo booth that was used at a party organized by the Serpentine Gallery in the UK.
Devlin herself wrote in her Google blog that, “the resulting poems can be surprisingly poignant, and at other times nonsensical. And it’s the profoundly human way that we seek and find personal resonance in a machine-generated text that’s the essence of this project.” She even published her own portrait with, as she says, “a unique POEMPORTRAIT of your face, illuminated by your original lines of poetry.”