It then turns them into (questionable) poetry using a trained artificial intelligence.
Using a tablet, visitors of the statue in London’s Trafalgar Square can “feed” the lion one word. An AI inside the statue will then generate a poem based on that word, and a screen in the lion’s mouth will display a few lines of it while the lion roars. At night, the poem will also be projected onto the body of the statue and nearby Nelson’s Column.
The brightly painted statue was created by designer Es Devlin, but technologist Ross Goodwin is responsible for the AI’s poetry. He programmed a long short-term memory recurrent neural (LSTM) network to find and replicate patterns in a data set of 19th-century poetry. By predicting what letters are likely to follow each other in the 25 million words that make up this data set, the AI generates a poem based off of the single word a visitor feeds it.