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Taken from Nowness

Dating app algorithms inspire a video for London chanteuse Emmy the Great

Singer-songwriter Emmy the Great talks about the concept behind her dating software-led collaboration with London-based artist Daniel Swan:

“My research for the video began with shopping and dating algorithms, then moved on to narrative software—such as Wordsmith and Narrative Science—which takes data and turns it into narratives for e-commerce and reporting. Artist Daniel Swan and I decided to ‘ask’ an algorithm to write the video for us.

“With the help of Nicolas Seymour-Smith, a programmer and artist, we built a machine that generates music-video treatments using natural language processing algorithms. We taught the machine what a music video plot was by feeding it synopses of music videos—classics like “Thriller” and “Scream”, and modern favourites from Lady Gaga and Katy Perry. The machine began generating its own plots based on what it had learned, and ‘Algorithm’ was born.”

Emmy the Great’s third album, Second Love is out on 11 March on Bella Union

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