Whispers from Buzz

2019

Installation

Artificial intelligence that produces poetry from trending words

        Now that everyone carries a smartphone and is constantly connected online, yesterday’s news and buzz are forgotten today. Anyone can transmit information through social networks, and the writing that is posted in such huge volumes day to day drops from the top of your feed to the bottom and is rarely looked back on.

 

        This work is an installation that composes AI-generated poems based on the theme of the trending words that are produced every day on Twitter.

 

        Trending words are keywords that spread like wildfire across social media platforms at any time of any day, or which are searched for online a great number of times, for a moment attracting tremendous attention. This work focuses on Twitter, which in Japan is the social media platform with the most users. Twitter is a platform that generates a wide variety of topics from day to day, ranging from the positive to the negative (flaming).

 

         The AI observes as digital data the language that is generated on social networks and subsequently disappears, and reinterprets this as poetry. This is a new form of intelligence that statistically processes our words and us in the social media age, where tremendous quantities of words are transmitted. The collision between ourselves and this new form of intelligence projects the current state of the media and language that surround us.

 

         For this project, we developed AI that could use deep machine learning to study 200,000 Japanese pieces of Japanese writing and thereby generate new short pieces of writing consisting of multiple texts. Words that are trending on Twitter (and related tweets) are obtained in real-time, and word groups with strong links to the trending words are thus deduced. Expressions are formed from these words, and short piece of writing consisting of multiple consistent texts are then generated.Three AI with various set characteristics can create as much as 2160 poems per day.

 

        These pieces of writing range from those which appear to be very strongly pushing trending words, to those whose poetry seems to bear no relation whatsoever to the trending words. In either case, the poems resound with unrefined poetic sentiment that cannot be found in text written by humans. That reverberation has the power to dissimilate social networking trends and facilitate a critical look at our everyday existence.

Project Movie

Selected Poems

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Tomoya Ishibashi (Artist)
Kento Niikura (AI Engineer)
Ryuji Yoshida (Web Engineer/Motion Designer)
Kohei Futakuchi (Designer)
Tomoya Yoshida (Engineer)

Support received from Project to Support Emerging Media Arts Creators (Agency for Japan Cultural Affairs)

©2018 Tomoya Ishibashi