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Google’s PoemPortraits Uses AI to Carve a Poem on Your Selfie

Google never fails to amuse. In March, they made a rather impossible doodle and released it to a global audience. This time they are leveraging Artificial Intelligence yet again to tweak selfies in a way that no one thought of before.

Named PoemPortraits, this web application asks you to suggest a word of your choice, creating a whole new (and original) poem and engraves it on your selfie. Essentially, the feature is released as an Instagram filter that uses a Machine Learning algorithm to compose never-ending poetry using a word of your choice as an AI muse. It works really well surprisingly and is a lot of fun to play around with. It is worth a few minutes of your time and creates non-plagiarised poetry via pattern-recognition.

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The product is the brainchild of a long collaboration between Google’s arts & culture software developer Ross Godwin and Es Devlin, a renowned London-based stage designer. While Godwin was responsible for integrating 25 million words of poetry from 19th-century poets into the app, Devlin applied her enormous experience, which she has received from working with the who’s who of the arts and the music industry.

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Basically, Godwin trained a deep learning based neural network to build the software that looks for patterns in the aforementioned 25 million words worth of data to create a unique poem based out of one word of user input. On the other hand, Devlin was successful in projecting this software on physical objects such as the famous lion statue in London’s prestigious Trafalgar square.

She also implemented it in a photo booth for UK’s Serpentine Gallery party. Writing a blog post about the experiment she noted that the concept can be astonishingly poignant at times.

The important point is, it works!

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