Reconstruction of El Cucalambé image by using AI.

The birth anniversary 194 of Juan Cristóbal Nápoles Fajardo (El Cucalambé), the greatest bucolic poet of the 19th century in Cuba, is approaching. Our land prepares the homage that every year becomes the Cucalambeana Fiesta. But a singular tribute has been born to him by the hand of Leoarmis Ojeda de la Torre, webmaster of the Provincial Directorate of Culture, a gift that has to do with artificial intelligence. Let’s know the history.

El Cucalambé original litographyLas Tunas, Cuba.- Leo, as he is called, was given the task of designing the identifying poster of the aforementioned event of traditions. He gave himself, then, to the task willing to give his best. Then a dissonance made him take an unconventional tack. "The lithograph traditionally shown by the bard's physique didn't seem to me to be in keeping with current design trends. It was done a long time ago and looks a bit faded.”

"It was when my son Andy told me about how he uses artificial intelligence for drawing things, and it sparked my interest in the field. So, I searched the Internet and found a program called Hotpot. The address is It is a simple web page, which allows some specific things such as the reconstruction of faces, enlargement of small images, depixelation...”

"The process took several nights to achieve a quality result. When you look at the current image, there is not that much difference compared to the most publicized to date, in terms of shape and face, although the new one is clearer and shows features that are not seen in the oldest.”

Leoarmis Ojeda Webmaster at the Provincial Culture DirectoratePreviously -and along the way- the maker had to investigate the“Rufina's singer;” search for related information, such as paintings by artists who interpreted his figure, find matching features... And, once the reconstruction was finished, he consulted Carlos Tamayo, the biographer of El Cucalambé, to corroborate the effectiveness of the work and the similarity with the poet.

"First, I sent a photo to the program, which returned it to me with some decency. But I had to work on the body, emphasize the folds of the suit, and the hands, which in the original image are very diffuse, that's why I used other hands; I delved into the eyes, which the artificial intelligence sent me with pupils of different colors and I had to recolor the iris, taking into account the documentation on the subject, especially the poem by Juan Cristóbal where he says that they were 'the color of the flames of Vesuvius' (sonnet My portrait).”

It is the first time that Leo faces a challenge of this type; Let's hope it's just the beginning of his career. Although he is a Medium Accounting Technician by profession, he has acquired knowledge about Computer Science in a self-taught way. "I have read a lot, I have approached the Youth Clubs and passed courses at the Las Tunas headquarters of the Association of Cuban Social Communicators (ACCS), on marketing, design, and other branches."

He is satisfied because "people have liked it" and expressed his intention to continue perfecting it for future works, in addition to opening the spectrum to other personalities. "Artificial intelligence has been used in images of Martí and Bolívar, for example," he added. He only regrets that he could not reach more services within the website, which require payment. "The result could have been better," he said.

And he said goodbye with a reflection. "There is still a lot of fear in this computer area because there are graphic designers and photographers who believe it will substitute their work in a certain way, but it is one more tool, which must be used wisely. Not a few musicians already use it to make posters that promote concerts. To do, not to design. Only man has the capacity for interpretation."