Poetry for Robots, a newly released site from Neologic Labs, Webvisions, and the Arizona State University Center for Science and the Imagination, asks "What if we used poetry and metaphor as metadata? Would a search for 'eyes' return images of stars?" Envisioned as a digital humanities experiment, Poetry for Robots displays a set of images on its landing page. Users who click on one of these images are taken to a new page where they are informed of their participation in an experiment in metaphor and metadata and invited to contribute poetry of 20 words or 150 characters to the site, using the image as a prompt. At Webvisions Chicago 2015, the creators will analyze what the algorithms (i.e. the robots) have learned from poetry contributed to the site, using search operations.
Stephen Nelson’s Dance of Past Lives is an array of alphabetic pas de deux. Duets de Y. The letter as body. As body text. An abstract dance, wise metaphorms meta(phor)morpho-singing into stars, trees, other symbols. Y is another. An A. A tittle or jot as ball, sun, rayless star. I-less is another.
Antibodies are y-shaped. Texts are (wh)y-shaped. Y? Not because (Y)YOLO.
An array of past whys. Whysdom. What were our letters in a past life? How did we read?