A Gaudi-Inspired, Thinking Sculpture Designed with the Help of IBM’s Watson

06.12.17 | By
A Gaudi-Inspired, Thinking Sculpture Designed with the Help of IBM’s Watson

NY-based SOFTlab has been known to create some pretty jaw-dropping sculptures and one they completed recently for IBM is no exception. In order to design and build the sculpture, they worked with IBM’s cognitive system, Watson, who was taught everything about Gaudi’s work and Barcelona’s architecture. That led to Watson helping SOFTlab choose materials and the design based on information Watson gave them that they had not previously known. The result is a jaw-dropping sculpture that blends art with science and technology and it debuted at MWC 2017 in Barcelona earlier this year.

By teaching Watson all about Gaudi’s work, it was almost like the architects of SOFTlab were inside his brain during the process. Utilizing the technology that’s currently available, they’ve been able to continue Gaudi’s legacy with this sculpture in the city where he made such an architectural difference.

During the process, they utilized two of Watson’s capabilities the most, Visual Recognition and AlchemyLanguage. Watson’s Visual Recognition scoured tons of images of Gaudi’s work and Barcelona architecture to help narrow down trends and identify objects. AlchemyLanguage learned from documents about Gaudi and other local architects, as well as other historical articles to help detect patterns.

Wanting it to be a thinking sculpture, they used Watson’s Tone Analyzer to decipher what people at the event and around the world were saying to manipulate the sculpture with movement.

Caroline Williamson is Editorial Director of Design Milk. She has a BFA in photography from SCAD and can usually be found searching for vintage wares, doing New York Times crossword puzzles in pen, or reworking playlists on Spotify.