The internet is a weird place, and Google does its best to make it weirder.
Exhibit A: PoemPortraits. Here's the deal... Google, which is always tinkering away at oddball experimental projects and web experiences that often use artificial intelligence, has unveiled PoemPortraits as a way for you to merge your selfies with AI-generated poetry.
It's different and well worth your time. You visit this page and enter a word to for the AI to get started crafting your poem. We chose "insufferable". We then gave permission for the app to access our camera, took a webcam selfie, and let PoemPoetry do its magic. The app instantly colourised our seflie and overlaid this text on top: "Insufferable throngs, the sweat seasons, Our sunshines swell, when the bright air is crimson."
Google said this new web app is a collaboration between Google’s Arts & Culture Lab, a programmer named Ross Goodwin, and artist and stage designer Es Devlin. It was trained on over 20 million English words using 19th century poetry, all so it can create a unique poem for each user.
You can also hit the "collective poem" button to generate a seemingly never-ending poem. Google said that when each user donate a word to make their PoemPortrait, it becomes part of an ever-evolving collective work of poetry. Here's a snippet of what it served up to us:
"The goo of the sunshine and the air,
The sam and the battle with the song.
Our ruin distant down the hills,
Our house and the inheritance,
This tree was on the southern sky."
We told you it's weird. It's basically a web-based photobooth with some artsy wordsmithing applied. Give it a try if you're feeling bored.