PHOTO CREDIT: Estela Nadal Facebook and Twitter

Who is Estela Vadal? Today, February 14, the world gets to know the first robot who writes Filipino poems.

Poet, photographer, and programmer Marlon Hacla is scheduled to launch on Valentine’s Day the physical prototype of his groundbreaking and ongoing project, Estela Vadal, in Los Baños, Laguna.

The interactive and makeshift wooden robot is actually a poet and photobooth rolled into one.

Creator Hacla named Estela Vadal, an artificial intelligence machine, after his mother.

Estela Vadal the AI machine is a recurrent neural network trained on poems in Filipino to generate poetic text.

The AI’s best poems during her first several months of operation were compiled in a chapbook titled “Ito ang Pangalan ng Aking mga Dila,” published in December last year by Magpies.

From October 2017 until her incarnation this month, Estela Vadal has been an active Twitter bot that ‘recited’ lines of poetry by the hour. The robot generates with a receipt printer the photos of its subjects along with poetry vignettes prompted by the image signatures of the photos.

“Graceful and visceral at once, these compositions provide a glimpse of Estela Vadal’s uncanny consciousness and the mysteries language can muster in the lines that seem to have emerged from some unfathomable void… Straddling and intersecting various media to mine further possibilities of the lyric gesture and create startling, new configurations of the Filipino language,” writes the organizers of the launch presentation.

“Marlon Hacla’s project not only serves as a landmark work in Philippine literature and in local text-based and new media arts, but also generates perhaps one of the most numinous and unsettlingly beautiful poetry that we will ever see in print in this lifetime,” says the Estela Vadal Facebook event page.

Estela Vadal will be exhibiting her prowess in creating Filipino poems from February 14 – March 30 at Nomina Nuda, 9654 Diamond Street, Umali Subdivision, Batong Malake

Los Baños, Laguna. Opening reception is scheduled today at 6 PM to 2 AM.

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