April 13

Four Letter Words robot plays word association, swears quite a bit

Four Letter Word Robot

New York-based artist and programmer Rob Seward's 'Four Letter Words' electronic sculpture will spell out nice and/or dirty words at you. A series of small fluorescent tubes move about to form an angular typeface of shifting verbiage, displaying English language words of up to four characters long. Seward explains the origins of the words in his artist statement:

“The piece displays an algorithmically generated word sequence derived from a word association database developed by the University of South Florida between 1976 and 1998. The algorithms take into account word meaning, rhyme, letter sequencing, and association.”

But the algorithm tends to display rough or crude words more often than nice ones, which is "influenced by a variety of language and perception studies, especially Elliot McGinnies's 1949 study 'Emotionality and Perceptual Defense,'" he writes.

Filed Under: Robot Programming, Robotics

Tags: Algorithms, Artist Statement, Association Database, Crude Words, Dirty Words, Electronic Sculpture, Emotionality, English Language Words, Language And Perception, Perception Studies, Perceptual Defense, Rhyme, Seward, Typeface, University Of South Florida, Variety Of Language, Vimeo, Word Association, Word Meaning, Word Sequence