Last weekend I participated in an event here in Brooklyn called Art Hack Day where a bunch of artists and technologists with different skill sets all got together to implement new projects in 36 hours and finish with a gallery opening. I teamed up with David Newbury and Blair Neal on an installation we called “TV Helper” which is now also running as a Twitter-bot called TV Comment Bot.
The TV Helper is designed to make new TV shows out of existing ones by inserting new subtitle text over any video feed, replacing the original plot and dialogue of the show being watched. When possible the TV Helper algorithms will reference specific objects it “sees” in the video stream in the plot lines being created.
Additionally the genre of the new show can be a customized by the viewer using the set of provided knobs to be a mix of 8 different styles: Sports, News, Politics, Humor, Crime, NASCAR, Religion and Horror.
Here are some of my favorite results of feed from the home edition that is now running 24/7 since the Super Bowl on Feb 1st. You can find hundreds more on the Twitter feed.
If you're interested in hacking together a bit of this yourself, the two main tools used were the DeepBeliefSDK based analysis app that I wrote recently and this MadLibs generator created by David Newbury. We combined these using Quartz Composer / Syphon / OSC to create the simply text overlays for display.
The whole thing looked a bit like this behind the scenes:
Since this can run in real-time I'm also curious to try this out as an additional overlay during a VJ set in the future. We'll see how that goes.
Lastly a huge shout out to the Art Hack Day organizers for baby sitting all us artists while we worked. If you'd like to see more of the results from the event my friend Alejandro blogged about the awesome Oculus / Unity drowning game they made. You can find additional photos of the action (several of which are on this page!) on Margarida Malarkey's site.
[Update 2] Below are some more recent pictures from the Apple WWDC event, political press events and of course TV.