The algorithm behind Archillect works by combing the web for images and selecting ones according to their history on social media. It seeks to maximise the exposure of its own posts, and adjusts its selections based on the amount of attention each post receives. You can read more about this here.
net magazine spoke to Pak about his project:
Tell us about your day job.
I am a director/designer/developer hybrid.
Where did the idea for Archillect come from?
My initial idea was to make an open contribution platform for everyone to put their inspirational images on the same metaspace. However, I realised this would require additional time to manage the whole system. The idea of Archillect ('archive' and 'intellect') as a self-curating visual inspiration library occurred to me as the next step. You can see the results at www.archillect.com.
Have you been surprised by its success?
As Archillect is based on human interaction and relies on feedback through social media to curate content, it was hard for me to foresee the end result. The most exciting moment was when I realised the posted content was evolving to satisfy the followers. It showed character and decision-making. This is why Archillect is referred to as 'her' instead of 'it'. People didn't guess she's a bot for a long time. She constantly gets job offers as a visualist!
Why do you think she appeals to web designers?
Because of inspiration. Who doesn't like inspiration? Not specifically web designers either: we're all affected by emotional triggers.
What were the key technical challenges you faced while creating Archillect?
The most challenging part was the core, which is where the actual magic happens. You can think of the core as Archillect's mind. To make her guess what is going to be 'likeable' next needed lots of thought. The process involves many personal assumptions and hypotheses, so the outcome isn't perfect, but right now I would say that things are well-balanced.
Has the project helped you to be more creative in your own everyday work?
As a creative I like appreciation. For most of us, I believe it's one of the main drives to create something new. Personally, besides getting inspired from the posted visual content, I am more excited that others are inspired by this as well.
This article originally appeared in issue 272 of net magazine.
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