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Can a machine know people better than they know themselves? To answer this question, a beautiful futuristic box with interactive installation was created, the Cognitive Photo Booth, where IBM’s AI computing system, Watson, created data-driven portraits of people.

“Our data is who we are. It’s an echo of our behavior. A record of our emotion. In the Cognitive Photo Booth – a key attraction at the AI-inspired Art with Watson portrait exhibition – IBM Watson turned data into the truest portrait ever captured, and showed how technology can reveal the person within.

Thousands of gallery guests queued up to chat with Watson, who then analyzed their answers to his questions, using his Speech to Text and Tone Analyzer APIs. Each guest’s personality profile was then presented as a custom, poster-sized portrait, in the form of a data visualization, printed in minutes” says the creative team.

 This AI Machine Knows You Better than YouThis AI Machine Knows You Better than YouThis AI Machine Knows You Better than You

Designing an AI Computing System

For the first time ever, the public spoke with Watson. By conducting an interview, Watson analyzed user’s personalities based on a series of questions.

Exhibit-goers to the larger Art with Watson gallery discovered quirky, unassuming Watson had some questions for them. He wanted to know your favorite artist, your childhood friend, what you wanted to be when you grew up.

AI technology development can be intimidating. Through balancing futurist and humanist elements, we designed the Watson experience to be a friendly and intelligent conversation partner. We worked with our friends manvsmachine to create the avatar animation, and developed an user experience focused on intuitive gestures and natural language.

This AI Machine Knows You Better than YouThis AI Machine Knows You Better than YouThis AI Machine Knows You Better than YouThis AI Machine Knows You Better than You

Dymanic & Generative Portraits

Then Watson created a custom portrait based on five personality traits.

Following the conversation, Watson created a portrait of exhibit-goers based on traits he’d discovered, showcasing his ability to find novel insights in attendees. Using the Tone Analyzer APIs, Watson measured people’s personality traits based on word choice and grouping, and used their scores, visualized through five custom emojis, as the basis for generating a custom poster-sized portrait, printed in minutes.

This AI Machine Knows You Better than YouThis AI Machine Knows You Better than You

Designing a photo booth of the future

The creative team wanted to create a futuristic look at a traditional photo booth. With Watson being the focus, we created a elegant, intimate setting for users to get to know the friendly computing system, and vice versa. The white exterior is lined with IBM’s signature 8-bar branding, with sliding tinted glass doors. The lights even reacted to users being inside, changing hues via motion sensors.

This AI Machine Knows You Better than YouThis AI Machine Knows You Better than You

Worldwide Design Director: Sid Tomkins
Creative Direction: Bastien Baumann, Chris Rowson
Art Direction & Design: Justin Au
Executive Producer: David Ross
Creative Technology & App Development: Joe Laquinte, Blake Rutledge
Front-end Development: Joe Laquinte, Addison Rodomeista, Justin Au
Motion Design: Justin Au, ManvsMachine
Fabrication & Exhibition Production: TH Productions

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