BCS Machine Intelligence Awards 2007 sponsored by Electrolux was won by ‘The Painting Fool’ - Simon Colton, Michel Valstar and Maja Pantic
Happy, sad, soulful or enigmatic? the ‘robot’ painter that senses emotions and paints a portrait.
The prize for a working system demonstrated at the competition that was considered to be the most significant step forward using Machine Intelligence was awarded to Simon Colton Maja Pantic and Michel Valstar of Imperial College London for their system ‘The Emotionally aware Painting Fool’.
The Emotionally Aware Painting Fool brings together two Artificial Intelligence systems in order to produce computer portraits in an exciting new way. Firstly, the system ‘looks’ at a video clip of someone expressing an emotion, for instance smiling or frowning. Then, the software determines which emotion is being shown, where the eyes, nose and mouth are in the picture, and at what point in the clip the person is being the most emotional. This information is passed to The Painting Fool, a computer program which aims to be taken seriously as a creative artist in its own right. The Painting Fool chooses its colour palette and painting style according to the emotion in the picture. So, it might choose muted colours and careful pencil marks for a sad portrait, or bright, slapdash paint strokes for a happy portrait. Because The Painting Fool is also told where the facial features are, it can pay more attention to the eyes and mouth, and it can use exaggeration to heighten the emotion. The results of this can be seen at The Painting Fool’s website.
Further information on the 2007 competition, including details of other entries, can be found at http://www.comp.leeds.ac.uk/chrisn/micomp/2007.html