Researchers Trained Computers To Write Poetry

Researchers have developed a bot capable of writing poetry. Having been fed a good deal of verse, the programme is, apparently capable of tricking humans and has come up with many poems, including the example below:

“With joyous gambols gay and still array
No longer when he twas, while in his day
At first to pass in all delightful ways
Around him, charming and of all his days”.

The New York Post describes the above as “not bad”. While I would agree that this sample of verse is interesting, I wouldn’t describe it as “not bad”. To me it reads rather like a computer programme had been fed the complete poetic works of the humorous poet Edward Lear and come up with this short poem. The verse is, for me also reminiscent of Lewis Carroll’s Jabberwocky.

Poetry is, in the final analysis an expression of human emotion, whether sadness, happiness, anger or a combination of various emotions. At present only humans can feel emotion (as opposed to being able to simulate it), so what the researches have created is a clever programme capable of soaking up the poetry produced by others and using its “knowledge”? to produce it’s own attempts at poetry. The programme is producing nothing original, although it has, admittedly knitted together the poetic cannon to produce some interesting results.

To read the article please follow this link,

17 thoughts on “Researchers Trained Computers To Write Poetry

  1. Matthew Wright

    Like you, I doubt that what a computer generates as ‘poetry’ could be more than a ‘poetic simulation’ based on an algorithm. Still, it’s quite cool that it’s been done, from the geek perspective!

    1. K Morris Poet Post author

      Many thanks for your comment, Matthew. I am no expert on technology. I do, however agree with you that this is very interesting from a geek perspective! I am sure the late Alan Turing would be fascinated by what is being done. Best – Kevin

  2. V.M.Sang

    No! Not for me. Doesn’t sound quite right. Yes, it could have been written by a human, but then some poetry written by humans sounds a bit contrived! (Not yours, of course, Kevin.)

  3. blindzanygirl

    Interesting. It reminds me of some people, who are unable to feel emotion, so have to “think” it in their heads, then come up with the “right” sentence for the occasion.

    1. K Morris Poet Post author

      Thank you for your interesting comment, Lorraine. I think what you are describing is a form of autism although, of course there are varying degrees of autism. Best – Kevin

      1. blindzanygirl

        Thanks Kevin. I think you may be right, though I have met people who seem to be like this who, as far as I know are not autistic. I don’t know why your post made me think of that, but it did.

      2. K Morris Poet Post author

        I can understand why you thought as you did, as the same thought came to me. There is a theory that we are all on the autistic spectrum. While I wouldn’t subscribe to this idea, I am sure that there are many people with autism who remain undiagnosed. Also, while someone may not be autistic, deep trauma (for example abuse) may make it difficult (or impossible) for them to express emotions, although the emotion may remain, but so buried that its almost impossible to discern its existence.

    1. K Morris Poet Post author

      Thanks, Tori. I think everyone who has commented thus far is singing from the same hymn sheet. To the best of my knowledge my computer does not possess emotions. Indeed when I shout at it for going slow or crashing, I receive no response whatsoever! Best – Kevin

    1. K Morris Poet Post author

      Many thanks for your comment. You make an interesting point, and I agree with you that it would be an interesting exercise to have a literary academic analyse it, without knowing that it was created by a computer programme. Best wishes – Kevin


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