Tag Archives: computers

The Lady of Shalott Got Caught Up in Virtual Reality

The Lady of Shalott got
Caught up in virtual reality.
She spun
Her web
And found not fun,
But the sheer banality
Of the living dead.

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, https://nypost.com/2018/08/08/researchers-trained-robots-to-write-poetry/.

How Nice It Is To Drink Coffee

How nice
To drink a coffee as I think
About what to write, but try as I might
There is no delight
For I find that coffee spilt
My device break
And I have had to take
The darned thing almost thrice
To the store.
No more
Shall I drink
As I think
While sitting next to my machine
For I glean
That computers and drinks do not mix
And laptops can not always be fixed …!

Watch out authors (well, maybe)

A couple of weeks ago I fell into conversation with a teacher of music. She had just purchased my book, “Lost in the Labyrinth of My Mind” and our conversation turned to matters of creativity. I asked whether she believed that computers would ever be able to produce music of the same standard as that of Mozart and other great composers? She responded with a question of her own, “could a computer ever produce poetry of the same standard as that of the great poets?”
The above is an interesting question. There is a tendency perhaps inate in we humans to deny that something is possible merely on the grounds that it’s occurance fills us with forboding or abhorrence. However gut reactions are not (usually) the best means of answering complex questions.
As regards my own view of the matter, the simple answer is that I have no idea as to whether machines will ever be capable of producing works of artistic merit. The great advantage of we humans is that we possess emotions which are interwoven in our art whether literary, painting or musical. I suspect (and I am no scientist) that it will be easier for those working in the field of artificial intelligence to produce machines which are of similar intelligence (or perhaps exceed) that of humans. However to reproduce genuine emotion will, I suspect be a far more difficult task so intellectual pursuits may well be one of the last bastions to fall to AI. Its also perfectly possible that “true” AI will never be achieved as there is still much debate about what, exactly constitutes real intelligence, (merely because an extremely fast computer could, in the future have access to all known information and be able to process it at greater speed than a human would not make it more intelligent than mankind for intellectual abilities reside in far more than processing power).
Below is a piece of speculative fiction written by me in early 2015. As ever I would be interested in your views. https://newauthoronline.com/2015/01/18/robert/

Backup And Backup Again!


Over Christmas I took my trusty Sony Vio laptop to Liverpool with me. Much of my time in Liverpool was, not surprisingly spent celebrating the festivities with family. I did, however find time to write and, as always saved my creations to my laptop’s hard drive.
On returning to London I powered up my trusty old work horse only for the machine to display an error message saying that Windows had been incorrectly shut down. I tried the usual solutions (start Windows normally and when that failed a system restore) but all to no avail. Eventually I took the laptop to a computer repairer I have used previously only to discover that the hard drive had gone to the great computer heaven in the sky where it is, no doubt now whirring away contentedly with other computer bits and bobs!
Fortunately the above story has a happy ending. Although the hard disk had died Graham (the computer repairer) was able to fit a new one and transfer my files from the defunct drive to it. Had he not been able to do this I would, potentially have lost much of my work. Hours of hard slog down the drain!
I had no warning that my hard drive was about to fail. Apparently they can fail soon after a machine has been purchased for no apparent reason, while others can work for years without a hitch. I have owned the laptop since 2011 so had, I guess enjoyed a fairly good run for my money as regards the hard disk.
The moral of the above is to always back up one’s work to somewhere other than one’s computer’s hard drive! Happy backing up!


Kindle For PC


On 11 January I announced the publication of my collection of poetry, “Lost In The Labyrinth Of My Mind” (https://newauthoronline.com/2016/01/11/lost-in-the-labyrinth-of-my-mind-by-k-morris-is-now-available-in-the-kindle-store/).

Following that announcement I was contacted by a potential reader who said they had no Kindle or tablet and went on to ask whether they could still read my book. I was pleased to email back and advise that Kindle titles can also be read using Kindle for PC

kindle for laptop


Having responded to the query, it struck me that there may be other potential readers of Kindle titles out there who are unsure as to whether (as non owners of the device) they can read Kindle titles, hence this post.
If you would like to read “Lost In The Labyrinth Of My Mind” for £0.99 please visit HERE.



When there is no night or day
Man will have lost his way.
When the harsh bulb does forever shine
And man is caught in a mesh so fine
He can not see
And believes himself free
Methinks he will have passed a line.
When the face of love
Is replaced by a glove
And lonely people
Hide in a steple
Of the mind
Humans will find
They have crossed the Rubicon
Something indefinable has gone
And the fluorescent tubes burn forever on.

I May WalkWalk From TalkTalk

As a blogger I rely on the internet. I don’t think about it often. Rather like the driver who knows very little about cars I just get into the driving seat and drive. As with the driver in the above example, I know little about how the engine (internet) works but I trust that the manufacturer (my Internet Service Provider or ISP) will get me safely, from A to B without incident. Unfortunately as with vehicles, so with the internet, things can (and do) go wrong. In this case spectacularly so – my ISP (TalkTalk) has been hacked, (http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/talktalk-cyber-attack-company-accused-of-cover-up-following-reports-customers-targeted-a-week-before-a6707091.html). The incident is shocking as the Chief Executive, Dido Harding has been reported as saying that she is uncertain as to whether key customer information (including bank details) where encrypted on the TalkTalk servers. As the head of a company entrusted with the data of around four million customers I, in my naivety would assume that chief executives should be cognisant of such matters. That is why they receive salaries which the vast majority of their customers will never see in a lifetime.

The above incident is the third such in a period of twelve months. Either TalkTalk is incredibly unlucky (but not as unlucky as it’s hapless customers) or a worrying degree of incompetence is at work here. I have my suspicions as to which one it is.

A close friend of mine (a former AOL customer, as AOL was subsumed into TalkTalk) is in the process of moving to another ISP and I am strongly minded to follow his example.

I remain in a state of disbelief that a security breech of this magnitude could take place not once, not twice but three times in a time-frame of some twelve months. Stable doors should be shut prior to (not after) the horse has bolted but TalkTalk appear to be desperately attempting to fasten the door long after the beast has departed.