Matthew Zapruder has written "Why Poetry." Matthew Zapruder has written "Why Poetry." Matthew Zapruder makes the case for poetry's accessibility and necessity in his debut work of nonfiction, "Why Poetry" (Ecco, $24.99). "The true meaning of a poem isn't hidden in a textbook," he writes. "It comes to be, each time, in the mind of each half-dreaming reader."
As if the world weren't already full enough of awful human poetry, now the robot overlords want in. Researchers from Microsoft and Kyoto University were interested in whether they could invent an AI that writes poetry inspired from images, "generating poems to satisfy both relevance to the image and poeticness in language level." Some of the poems produced are pretty objectively abysmal. Here's one inspired by a photo of a dead crab: "and now i am tired of my own "i have been a great city Researchers ran the poetry past actual humans to see if they could spot it was machine generated. Both poetry experts and uncultured swine (like myself) were tested, and it resulted in "competitive confusion to both ordinary annotators and experts."
As discussed in several of the contributed articles in this book, the Turing test was devised by Alan Turing as a way of certifying machine intelligence. Turing described a situation in which a human judge communicates with both a computer and a human using a computer terminal. The judge's task is to determine which is which. The judge cannot see the computer or the human and must make his or her determination by interviewing both. The computer attempts to trick the judge into selecting it as the human.
Can a machine incapable of experiencing emotion write poetry that stirs the soul? A neural network trained on thousands of lines of poetry has tried its hand at penning its own rhymes that mimic certain forms of verse. The poetic bot is fully tunable, says Jack Hopkins, who developed the system while he was a researcher at the University of Cambridge. It can be programmed to write in a particular rhythm or pen poems on specific themes. Set the theme to "desolation", for example, and the angst-ridden AI comes up with the following snippet of verse: The AI can be endlessly tweaked to produce different flavours of poetry.