Portrait

Nikola TeslaThe Artist

Nikola Tesla (1856–1943)

Nikola Tesla was an inventor, engineer, physicist and futurist born in what is now Croatia. He arrived in the U.S. in 1884 and quickly catapulted his career by working with Thomas Edison, creating more than 700 patents and making major breakthroughs in modern alternating current (AC) electricity. Toward the end of his life, he experienced emotional breakdowns and became a recluse wandering the streets of New York.

What Watson thinks

Watson’s analysis of Tesla’s works revealed a new side of the famed inventor – as an artist at heart.

Among the many APIs Watson used, Personality Insights fueled this discovery. Watson analyzed Tesla’s journals, articles, patents as well as writings about him and uncovered the underlying emotions and writing styles behind each word. He revealed that Tesla’s writings ranked 93% in artistic interests, revealing another side of this renowned thinker.

This surprising discovery was shared with award-winning photographer and director, Craig Cutler and artist/director Stephen Meierding. It inspired them to create an art piece that reveals a new side of Tesla that we may have never seen without Watson.

Watson APIs: Personality Insights, Natural Language Understanding, Tone Analyzer, Discovery

The data

Watson analyzed Tesla’s patents, journals and scientific articles, as well as articles written about him.

The artwork

The Artist Inside was inspired by Tesla’s conflicted, dual personas: the scientist and the artist. The mirrored cube represents Tesla’s mind, with the inner electric grid representing his fame as a well-known scientist. The generative art that comes alive inside the cube speaks to Tesla’s lesser-known artistic side, uncovered with Watson.


The artists

Craig Cutler is an award-winning photographer and director based in New York and LA. His works have been featured in the New York Times Magazine, the Washington Post, and National Geographic.

Stephen Meierding is a New York-based artist, director, editor, cinematographer and photographer. He recently collaborated with Craig Cutler and composer Sami Jano on their award-winning short film, The Boxer. He created the coding for the Tesla’s portrait.

“Innovation leads one to see the new in the old.”

–Paul Rand, iconic graphic designer and art director