Reverse Ekphrasis

To date, Poetry for Robots has inspired nearly 1,200 poems in five languages from users around the globe.  In just a few weeks at WebVisions Chicago we will query the database and learn how poetic metadata improves the robot mind.   Very exciting.

Ultimately, ours is an experiment based in ekphrasis.  According to the Poetry Foundation, "an ekphrastic poem is a vivid description of a scene or, more commonly, a work of art.”  In other words, an ekphrastic poem is a poem inspired by or pertaining to a work of art.  In these terms, we are soliciting ekphrastic metadata in the hopes that an image database becomes better aligned to the human dimension.   You can read more about the experiment here

In addition to all these ekphrastic poems, the Poetry for Robots experiment has also inspired a small collection of original images.  Our wide coverage in the press is often accompanied by imagery.  All these images seek to illustrate the intersection of computing and the humanities - a sweet spot that that we believe is the nexus of our technological future.  In this way, these original expressions are as important as the experiment itself.

Below is a a collection of my favorites.

These two are from O Globo in Brazil.  The Google Deep Dream treatment of Borges haunts me:

This lovely image from The Guardian places (recently found to be self aware) NAO Bot into Frost’s deep dark wood.  Good stuff.


This Borges/ Asimov diptych in the Open Culture piece is a good omen of things to come: