ICM - Week 9 - Preliminary Final Project Ideas

As I prepare to begin working on my final project from ICM, I have two possible ideas. And while one of them seems very clearly to be the best fit for the concept of the class, I just can’t completely let go of the other.

The first idea is to create a series of analog and vintage looking visualizers which would be collected and running on a single screen. The style and organization of these would be inspired by Cold War era military and nuclear facility control terminals. I imagine most of the visualizers would make use of an updated version of the vector display styling that I made for my Week 2 assignment. I could even see myself building some sort of physical frame which would hold a display showing this info to make it feel even more authentic. The main component of this design however is that these visualizers would hopefully be displaying real-time info from an API of some sort. I have not decided yet on the source of the information, but I am hoping to find something that justifies the visual style I am imagining.


On the other hand there is something else, completely different, that I could very well see myself doing. I have for a long time really loved the humor of computers trying to do human things, and often that is in the form of machine learning algorithms that write text. This includes things like the project above by Dana Abrassart that I saw at an ITP show a few years ago, this twitterbot created by my friend Daniel Sullivan which creates nonsense WikiHow instructions that rhyme, or these recipes and recipe names created by Janelle Shane.

Basically, if I were to pursue this project I would want to use ml5.js to train my own neural network to create humorous, pseudo-human text. As of right now I have narrowed down the possible subjects of this project to: knock knock jokes, sports team names, or titles of movies from a specific genre (rom com? sci fi? action?). Depending on which one I were to choose, I would ideally create some sort of companion element to the project, whether that is a printed booklet of jokes or a couple photoshopped movie posters or something of that nature.

So now I have to choose. My first idea is one that I think I could make into something pretty cool looking, that fits more ideally with the general theme of the class and is more inline with my general aesthetic and long term professional interest . This is compared to my second idea which does not have as much emphasis on visual creativity, and also could very well be a level of complexity beyond my abilities. However the second idea is also the one that just seems more fun to work on and I am arguably more enthusiastic about at this point. So basically I am a little bit stuck.

ICMStefan SkripakComment