Evolution is an art piece designed by Johannes Heldén in collaboration with Håkan Jonson which attempts to defeat Alan Turing’s problem of “The Imitation Game Test" presented in 1951 by using an AI to create new forms of poetry which mirror Johannes Heldén’s own writing style and can be accessed through the website textevelution.net. To clarify, “The Imitation Game Test” questions whether or not machines and artificial intelligence will be able to advance far enough to imitate and exhibit behaviour indistinguishable from that of a human. It is because of this that should Heldén’s work succeed in imitating his writing style, he would no longer have a need to produce his work as there would already be an artform producing it, which is ultimately his goal of this assignment. This piece also has some dispute regarding when it was established with several sites (such as collections.eliterature.org and Katherine Hayles article, “Literary Texts as Cognitive Assemblages: The Case of Electronic Literature” ) noting that it was published in 2013 and others (such as the art pieces website and languageandtheinterface.uc ) stating that it was developed in 2014. Based on the copyright information it appears as though the official year is 2014 however.
Upon opening the website the viewer sees a book with a brown border and a light grey backdrop. Underneath the book is what appears to be a wooden table. From this point, the participant is able to choose the language they would like to interact with the artform in, specifically English or Swedish, and can view the abstract page, the artist page, or the documentation page. Should the individual choose to look at the abstract page they will gain knowledge of the purpose for this project which has already been presented above. Alternatively, if one was to look at the artist page they would be privy to details of Johannes Heldén and Håkan Jonson professional accomplishments while the documentation page would allow the individual to gain access to the link for a printed copy of their book which notes the coding used. In addition to this, the opening page also has the copyright information for this project.
This system also appears to delete words more often then in generates them as can be seen in the screenshots below. After running the program for an hour at the highest generation speed, the program began to generate and delete a word, making it unable to fully produce a poem. This suggests that while the system is able to generate words in relation to the words surrounding it, it is unable to form its own ideas, and adapt its system to recognize the need for more words.