This Twitter account is insanely good at finding old pictures that look like emojis

The New York Public Library has 694,125 items digitised in its collection, and some of them were bound to look like emoji.

So Lauren Lampasone, a digital producer at the library, made a Twitter bot that matches the archive’s old images to emojis. If you tweet an emoji to it, it will tweet back a picture that looks like that emoji. She told Quartz that she created it to highlight the library’s collection.

It works remarkably well, and the matches are clever. Send it a film camera emoji, and it will send back an illustration with a film camera in the corner. Send it a screaming face, and it will send back a singer belting it out.

It’s possible to stump it. The bot doesn’t know what to do with flag emojis — it just shrugs and asks you to search around in its collections yourself.

All of the image-emoji matches are based on a giant database created by Lampasone and other NYPL employees. The Twitter bot’s code is on Github, where people can suggest archive images for emojis that don’t yet have a match.

There’s only one image per emoji, unfortunately, so you’ll get the same generated image every time for a specific emoji.

Still, it’s fun to use. Send it your favourite emoji and see what it tweets back.


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