This Robot Was Made To Be A Poet By The Sea
Created by designer Yuxi Liu, this is an AI-powered bot that wanders alone on the beach and draws poems in the sand based on the elements around it
Poets throughout history that have always had an affinity with the sea. With the advent of AI and machine learning, we ponder whether such an emotional form of expression could be produced by robots. Poet on the Shore, a project by Yuxi Liu, turns the query into a reality, as a robot that writes poetry directly on the sand.
This battery-powered author is shaped like an ottoman with an anemometer (a device that measures wind speed) that acts as an antenna. On four wheels, it strolls the shores and on its tracks, it scribbles lines of poetic prose.
A network of sensors for sound, wind and other factors “look” around at the surroundings and the Poet on the Shore converts this into a data stream. With artificial intelligence, the device is able to piece together words to create interesting verses. Even more poetic is the way the waves will eventually devour these lines.
Unlike other robots being developed, this project by Yuxi Liu has no immediate purpose. It’s not utilitarian, is free from human expectations and is not meant to automate a certain task governed by rules. While the robot abides by grammar and spelling conventions, it’s “free” to print whatever it pleases with the data fed by the sensors.
The Poet on the Shore project is part of the creator’s MFA in Design Informatics thesis at the University of Edinburgh. It is a section of her series entitled “I, Machine” which explores the relationship between man and machine, especially in today’s day and age where the capabilities of non-human entities seem to advance by the hour. Poet on the Shore, along with Yuxi Liu’s other ideas, explore the “sensibility, sociability and morality of machines”.
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Steven Dean is a designer, educator and entrepreneur focused on consumer health and wellness innovation. At his design consultancy, G51 Studio, he is involved in a broad range of projects that span business strategy, interaction and experience design, service design, and brand experience. He has designed and developed integrated user experiences for health and wellness platforms including mobile devices, networked applications and websites.