Artificial Intelligence (AI) is climbing up the tech popularity ladder like nothing before. From aviation to writing to shopping, AI is slowly but steadily entering various verticals of our lives. And now, IBM and Vogue have together made something that marks the perfect marriage of Indian fashion and AI.

This year, Vogue decided to host its first ever Vogue Women of the Year Awards to celebrate trailblazing men and women across the globe. In order to celebrate the special occasion, the firm decided to get IBM’s cognitive system, Watson, together with fashion world biggie Gaurav Gupta to create world’s first ever artificial intelligence-inspired sari-gown, which was worn by the award’s emcee and Emmy Award-winning actress Archie Panjabi last night.

For the uninitiated, this isn’t the first time that IBM Watson has done something like this with fashion. The platform had earlier collected worldwide recognition for co-creating Karolina Kurkova’s top rated Met Gala dress with the Marchesa duo. This time, the task on the hand was to search for dominant patterns and colours from the regions that all the awardees come from. In order to make this AI sari-gown a reality, hashtags of several regions and over five million images were scoured. Findability Sciences, which is an IBM ecosystem partner, was then assigned the task of extracting from those photographs specific context around shapes, patterns and colours that were most popular. The findings were then shared with Gupta to work on.



Gupta used a custom-built IBM application that the company infused with its Watson technology to feed in his inspiration behind the AI masterpiece. The tool helped with machine-generated patterns that Watson’s AI engine created as well as dominant human-created patterns from its database. All this finally led to the creation of a first-of-its-kind AI sari-gown with hybrid replete with LED lights.

Being powered by IBM IoT, the sari’s LED lights changes its colour based on each of the award winner’s personality. In order to make this a possibility, IBM made used of Watson’s Personality Insights API to carry out an extensive investigation of each awardee through their social media handles. The information derived from it was then mapped against seven human traits – open-mindedness and originality, confidence and problem solving, effectiveness in organizing thoughts, action orientation, conscientiousness, social energy, and openness to possibilities and alternatives. The aforementioned traits were then mapped to a colour most associated with them.

Each of the awardee was also given a specially designed scroll, which had all the personality traits of the person as analyzed by IBM Watson.

Not only this, the guests attending the event also got a chance to be the part of the AI experience. Gupta and IBM Watson’s master AI creation were also used as an interactive art installation at the award ceremony. Attendees could find the colour that best described them by simply entering their Twitter handle or choosing one from the pre-populated list of famous Indian women.

It’s great to see Vogue recognising the power of women and celebrating their achievements by holding a special award ceremony. We hope that Vogue continues its tryst with technology and we get to see more of such innovative creations in the future.

This development was first reported in Vogue India.

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