Karolina Kurkova’s Met Ball Dress Is Essentially A High-Tech Mood Ring

by: Courtney Sanders | 3 years ago | News

Image: Karolina Kurkova, wearing the dress designed by Marchesa and IBM’s Watson, at the 2016 Met Ball. Image source.

It’s the late ‘90s, I’m at high school, and, in between wishing I’m Gwen Stefani and hoping I will marry Eddie Vedder, I’m spending much of my spare time in malls, buying mood rings, then obsessing over the changing colours of said mood rings with my friends. “Mine’s green, which means I'm sad, but I’m happy, so why isn’t it pink?!” Of course, we now know the crystals in mood rings react to temperature and not to actual emotions, but without this knowledge, high school was a very confusing time for me.

It’s now the 21st century though, and if there’s anything which deserves a technological update, it’s probably the mood ring, right? Enter IBM’s Watson, the 2016 Met Ball and its theme, Manus X Machina, supermodel Karolina Kurkova, and a dress which responds to real emotions, or, rather, the perceived emotions of Twitter.

On first inspection, Karolina Kurkova’s gown looks like your standard princess gown, made from standard taffeta, with nifty, but not particularly genius, light-up flowers. However, the light-up flowers are where the magic, and the moods, lie.

This is how this mood ring dress works. Firstly, Marchesa’s designers chose five emotions they wanted the dress to convey: joy, patience, excitement, encouragement, and curiosity. They then chose a set of colours these emotions would be represented by, by feeding data into IBM’s Cognitive Colour Tool. They then fed tweets which included the hashtags #MetBall and #CognitiveDress through Watson’s Tone Analyzer API, which worked out which of the five predetermined emotions were represented in the tweets. This information was then fed into the LED-connected flowers, which changed colour depending on the tone of the tweets.

While it's not actual emotions as actual colours, considering this dress takes thousands of pieces of data and reflects everyone on Twitter’s emotions about a certain issue, it might even be better.

Via Wired. 

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