Alyssa Li Dayan


Averaging Sketches Around the World (2018). Quick, draw a sandwich! What does it look like? If you were from South Korea, you may have added pickled cucumber, or if you were from Sweden you might have drawn a smörgås i.e. open-faced sandwich. I explored using a neural representation to investigate these differences. I used sketch-rnn, a recurrent variational auto-encoder for sketches, to encode thousands of drawings from the Google Quick, Draw! game into vectors that capture their qualitative characteristics. Averaging the vectors by country and then decoding the average vectors revealed interesting variations across countries. See here for more details and analysis. 
Special thanks to the IBM Visual AI lab for mentorship during this project.