Did someone at Google just recently watch the Zookeeper? Because it looks like they took Griffin’s words a little too seriously when he says, “Here’s what you have to understand, your face is a poem”.

Google’s latest AI art project is called PoemPortrait, which is a web app that takes a word of your suggestion and combines it with a selfie to create a poem portrait. Think of it as an Instagram face filter together with a few lines of AI-generated poetry written all over your face.

How to get your PoemPortrait?

To get started, head to Arts Experiments with Google and tap ‘Begin’. You will then be asked to ‘donate’ any word of your choice, using which the AI will generate a poem for you.

After that, you will have to grant Google access to your camera, which will capture a ‘portrait’ of you within the app. For iPhone users, you will have to use the Safari browser to participate in this.

And voila! Below I chose ‘sunlight’ as my word for the poem portrait, and my own sleepy face for the portrait.

The PoemPortraits app is built by artist Es Devlin, coder Ross Godwin and Google’s Arts & Culture Lab. When you are in the process of creating your poem portrait and while the app is processing stuff in the background, a little trivia pop-up revealing that the creators of this app trained a deep learning neural network on a myriad of 19th century poems with over 25 million words!

In a blog post, Google explains that the AI behind the app “works a bit like predictive text: it doesn’t copy or rework existing phrases but uses its training material to build a complex statistical model. As a result, the algorithm generates original phrases emulating the style of what it’s been trained on”.

As Devlin points out in the blog, the resulting poems can be “surprisingly poignant, and at other times nonsensical”, but do try it out for the fun of it.

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