Inside Job
Ula Lucińska &
Michał Knychaus


Poetbot v_1.1

acrylic glass, metal and paper object, 2017

The Poetbot project was realized in cooperation with Adam Roszyk (AI programming) and Kuba Matuszczak
(web animations). The bot’s purpose is to generate short poetic forms based on input data which consists
of a selection of fragments of texts taken from a database of over five thousand phrases written by Lucińska and Knychaus using QuickType, a predictive processing system available for Apple iOS which functions as a part
of Siri's artificial intelligence program. QuickType allows nature of electronic conversations to be distinguished according to the type of user; for instance, it is able to distinguish between formal and private contacts.
Equipped with machine learning capabilities, Siri personalizes the user experience with increasing
precision. Poetbot produces personalized poems on the basis of short interviews with potential contributors.
The ability of Poetbot's machine learning is based on acquired cookies and statistical data. The algorithm utilizes a database of more than one thousand texts, while each poem extends the database further. Thus, every single reading of a poetic text generated by Poetbot contributes to the further operation of the project. Poetbot speaks to each user as an independent subject and encourages them to choose one of seven emojis, each of which
is meant to describe a current feeling or represent an emotion with which the recipient is not familiar.
These criteria determine the course of Poetbot’s creative process while it "thinks for a moment".
The generated poem can be saved as a pdf file.

Here is a sample of Poetbot's work:

It's too early for this...
Lipid disorders
Come get me
Open the closed doors

The aim of Poetbot is not to persuade the user that the poem's author has human character. In a sample instructional dialogue with a user on, Poetbot clearly admits its artificially intelligent origin. This also reveals the myth of interactivity, because the tasks that the user has to perform are very simple, while the Poetbot program performs much more complex activities in the background. This is a meta-commentary on the complex processes taking place in the "smart" devices we use every day: as interpassive users, we can only see the surface.

* Description of the work was taken from the peer review of the Poetbot project:
Ewa Wójtowicz, Ergodic robo-poetry, Inside Job, Poetbot, 2017.

exhibition view:
IAMAI Bots and other Humanoids, Galerie DuflonRacz, Bern, Switzerland, 2017
curator: Stefanie Marlene Wenger