In the final weeks of 2014, a site called Archillect first appeared online. At first glance, Archillect doesn't look too out of the ordinary; it's a fairly standard "mood board"—that is, a collection of images curated from other places on the internet, usually by an artist looking to put together a source of aesthetic inspiration for themselves and others.Archillect's brand of imagery consists of lots of abstract forms, fashion photography, and striking, surrealist GIFs. While nice to look at, it's not a huge departure from some of the better-curated mood boards that have existed on Tumblr for quite some time. Instead, the thing that makes Archillect unique is who's doing the curating.
No human is directly involved in deciding what gets posted on Archillect. Archillect herself is an artificial intelligence that curates her own content. Deploying a network of bots that crawl Tumblr, Flickr, 500px, and other image-heavy sites, Archillect hunts for keywords and metadata that she likes, and posts the most promising results.
Murat Pak, the creator of Archillect, has a difficult time defining what exactly he does for a living. Part developer, part designer, part artist, none of those terms on their own do a very good job of summarizing his work. Instead, he might be best described as an automator."I don't like to actually do things manually," Pak explains. "For instance, most of my designs, I didn't actually design something, but I designed something that designed some other thing, and the second thing was the actual product. That's how I like things."Pak's methods of outsourcing his work are unique, and in Archillect, he's proven just how effective they can be. This ambitious creation all started off pretty inconspicuously, though. As with other, more conventionally-run mood boards, Pak simply wanted to find and provide inspiration"It's a time-consuming thing if you're really trying to create your own collection, because you really have to dig to find beautiful things that are going to inspire you," Pak says. "So I was thinking, what if this whole digging and finding and posting thing was done by an artificial intelligence instead of a human, but was also driven by human behaviour in a way, so it's not random images, but it could be decided based on what people like."
After working on Archillect in private for awhile and tweaking her algorithms several times, that's exactly what Pak launched late last year. Just like he originally described, Archillect's posts are influenced by the humans who view her. In practice, this means she looks at how many people (and what kind of people) are sharing her posts, and adapts to provide more of the content people seem to be enjoying. Read more on Archillect.com