top of page


What does AI see when it looks at our books?

Can AI judge a book by its cover?
I built to find out

Now that AI image recognition has gotten pretty good, I'm interested in how I can use it to make my life more interesting. By combining image recognition data with GPT's writing skills, I created an AI-powered book cover critic, ready to analyze book covers and tell me if they're any good.

I even built a version that can analyze uploaded photos, so I can take this AI book cover expert on the road to help me make decisions about what to read.

This was a fun project and combined a couple of AI's superpowers. I started with a database of over 20,000 book covers. I set up the website to pick a cover at random and send it to the Google Cloud Vision AI. Vision looked at the cover and sent back lots of info about the content: data on the colors used, recognizable objects, people, faces, and what any text on the cover might read. The website then combines that image data with an instructional prompt and sends it to the GPT api. I asked GPT to consider the image data and tell me about it as a skeptical, been-there, done-that book reviewer might. Then, the site reveals the ai-generated cover judgment and the corresponding cover, with a link to the book on GoodReads just for fun.

I had a lot of fun dialing-in the voice for the AI-generated description. This makes the experience feel almost like hanging out with your pickiest book friend, picking on design choices of inferior talent.

As usual, Chat-GPT is doing most of the code work on this project. I come up with an idea, design it, and break the engineering into manageable chunks that AI and I can work on together. This site is all javascript, and I don't know how to write any of it—AI writes it, I edit it or catch mistakes, and we end up making weird stuff together that I never could have on my own.
bottom of page