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Can a Computer Write Poetry?

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posted on Jan, 21 2016 @ 11:56 PM
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I just like to share this interesting find from TED. Will it pass the Turing Test for poetry?

For those who can't watch the video, you can find the transcript here.

According to Oscar Schwartz "Turing said that if a computer could fool a human 30 percent of the time that it was a human, then it passes the Turing test for intelligence." So the bar is low, I always thought that it'll take at least 50% of the time or more to fool a human to pass the test, so this is new to me. If that's the case then maybe all a programmer has to do is for the computer to have 3 basic responses to a text- based (or voice) conversation:
1. A non-response.
2. "Leave me alone a**hole!"
3. After several non-response, a "Go f*** yourself!" response.
Will the computer pass with flying colors?

For the Turing Test for poetry, what are the implications? First, as Schwartz pointed out, we have to define what a computer, poetry, creativity and intelligence is, but he didn't asked what a human being is?

What do you think?
edit on 09 11 2015 by MaxTamesSiva because: (no reason given)




posted on Jan, 22 2016 @ 12:20 AM
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a reply to: MaxTamesSiva

when it does skynet will be born



posted on Jan, 22 2016 @ 12:47 AM
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a reply to: DOCHOLIDAZE1
Yeah, or maybe Transcendence?

When a computer can write hyper-dimensional mathematical equations in iambic pentameter just to mess with us or compose ultra-cryptic haikus about how pathetic humans are or maybe try rapping to a beat Saussurean style to lecture us about our own history for 3 straight days just because it can.

So, what's next painting digital fractal nudes or computers 3d printing structurally complex kinetic sculptures?
edit on 09 11 2015 by MaxTamesSiva because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 22 2016 @ 01:02 AM
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originally posted by: DOCHOLIDAZE1
a reply to: MaxTamesSiva

when it does skynet will be born


Artificially Intelligent Systems are not born, they IPL.




edit on 22/1/2016 by chr0naut because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 22 2016 @ 01:27 AM
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a reply to: chr0naut
Is AI a transhumanist wetdream? If humans can build one, if we haven't already tried, can we be 100% sure that it will not go Skynet on us? Why build it in the first place, because we can? Are we too lazy or too cynical and jaded to trust another human being?



posted on Jan, 22 2016 @ 01:40 AM
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a reply to: chr0naut

thats up for debate



posted on Jan, 22 2016 @ 02:04 AM
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originally posted by: MaxTamesSiva
a reply to: chr0naut
Is AI a transhumanist wetdream? If humans can build one, if we haven't already tried, can we be 100% sure that it will not go Skynet on us? Why build it in the first place, because we can? Are we too lazy or too cynical and jaded to trust another human being?


I would argue that 'soft' AI's already exist, we often call them "expert systems", knowledge-bases with specific and limited topical information. The Google search optimization process could be considered to be a 'soft' AI.


edit on 22/1/2016 by chr0naut because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 22 2016 @ 04:43 AM
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Even if we didn't read the 3 sets of poems as Schwartz's examples, we still could've just guessed which one was written by a human and a computer and still have a 50-50 chance of guessing which is which; which was a bit sketchy in his presentation. Still the AI implication is intriguing not to mention the aesthetics, philosophical and ethical ones. Will this lead to a restricting legal-technological meaning of what a human being is in the future?

It reminds me of a quote from a literary critic long ago, he said that "It is easier to write poetry than to read one."
edit on 09 11 2015 by MaxTamesSiva because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 22 2016 @ 03:57 PM
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A computer may be able to compile a rhyme.

Not a chance for poetry though... Good poetry moves the soul.


William Strode (1602-1645) - On Chloris Walking in the Snow

I saw fair Chloris walk alone
Where feathered rain came softly down,
And Jove descended from his tower
To court her in a silver shower;
The wanton snow flew to her breast
Like little birds into their nest,
And overcome with whiteness there
For grief it thawed into a tear,
Thence falling on her garment's hem
For grief it freezed into a gem.



Thomas Hood - Ruth

She stood breast high amid the corn,
Clasped by the golden light of morn,
Like the sweetheart of the sun,
Who many a glowing kiss had won.

On her cheek an autumn flush,
Deeply ripened;—such a blush
In the midst of brown was born,
Like red poppies grown with corn.

Round her eyes her tresses fell,
Which were blackest none could tell,
But long lashes veiled a light,
That had else been all too bright.

And her hat, with shady brim,
Made her tressy forehead dim;—
Thus she stood amid the stooks,
Praising God with sweetest looks:—

Sure, I said, heaven did not mean,
Where I reap thou shouldst but glean,
Lay thy sheaf adown and come,
Share my harvest and my home.



Edward Thomas - If I Should Ever By Chance

IF I should ever by chance grow rich
I'll buy Codham, Cockridden, and Childerditch,
Roses, Pyrgo, and Lapwater,
And let them all to my elder daughter.

The rent I shall ask of her will be only
Each year's first violets, white and lonely,
The first primroses and orchises—
She must find them before I do, that is.
But if she finds a blossom on furze
Without rent they shall all for ever be hers,
Codham, Cockridden, and Childerditch,
Roses, Pyrgo and Lapwater,—
I shall give them all to my elder daughter.


Many poetry sources but above taken from here



posted on Jan, 22 2016 @ 09:12 PM
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a reply to: MaxTamesSiva

can a computer write poetry - yes

but so can vogons



posted on Jan, 23 2016 @ 11:53 AM
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a reply to: ignorant_ape
And also pass the Turing test, depending on the programmer, a potential to be really good poets... haven't watched The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy yet.

a reply to: paraphi
Thank you for the link but I can't find James Joyce on their list. What does this mean, that taste is somewhat arbitrary? Like in music , the visual arts, architechture or even when it comes to choice of food and clothes; who dicides which is good or bad, cool or uncool, great or shoddy? There could be lots of outside influences but in the end, it's our own choice to like this or that, love this or that for whatever reason.

Does poetry always have to have rhyme, rhythm and reason? One of the Dadaist technique of writing a poem around 1920 could be the closest analogue comparison to computers writing a poem using algorithms; wherein they cut up words from a newspaper, a magazine or a book, put it in a bag and pick at random small strips of paper to compose each line in the order that the scraps left the bag. Here's a sample from Tristan Tzara :

Vegetable Swallow

two smiles meet towards
the child-wheel of my zeal
the bloody baggage of creatures
made flesh in physical legends-lives

the nimble stags storms cloud over
rain falls under the scissors of
the dark hairdresser-furiously
swimming under the clashing arpeggios

in the machine's sap grass
grows around with sharp eyes
here the share of our caresses
dead and departed with the waves

gives itself up to the judgment of time
parted by the meridian of hairs
non strikes in our hands
the spices of human pleasures

Is poetry a celebration of language and imagination or could it be the opposite? I'll leave you with Chamber Music by James Joyce, if you can, read it aloud. It's rather long and you might not like it., but that's how it is.



posted on Jan, 23 2016 @ 12:03 PM
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Poetry is mainly using metaphores to say something that could of been said more easily, more to the point and more commonly.

Could we program a computer to constantly talk in metaphores?
I don't see why not.

Would the computer only write good poetry?
Surely not as even human poets surely re-work their verses and erases some all the time. (At least I do) It's all subjective to the individual.

What could exist is a program where one could enter a phrase and then a list of synonymes could pop up and the user could decide on which combination of words sounds the best.



posted on Jan, 23 2016 @ 12:07 PM
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originally posted by: paraphi
Not a chance for poetry though... Good poetry moves the soul.


Edward Thomas - If I Should Ever By Chance IF I should ever by chance grow rich I'll buy Codham, Cockridden, and Childerditch, Roses, Pyrgo, and Lapwater, And let them all to my elder daughter. The rent I shall ask of her will be only Each year's first violets, white and lonely, The first primroses and orchises— She must find them before I do, that is. But if she finds a blossom on furze Without rent they shall all for ever be hers, Codham, Cockridden, and Childerditch, Roses, Pyrgo and Lapwater,— I shall give them all to my elder daughter.


Poetry is one of the most subjectives arts in the world.

That poem, I think it's artistically repulsive to no end. :p
edit on 23-1-2016 by theMediator because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 23 2016 @ 12:37 PM
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originally posted by: theMediator
That poem, I think it's artistically repulsive to no end.


That is the point. Good poetry , and even bad, causes emotion. You may be ambivilent, think it's crap, or in the examples I offered, think they are good.

A computer could not write poetry because it lacks humanity.



posted on Jan, 23 2016 @ 01:35 PM
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originally posted by: paraphi
That is the point. Good poetry , and even bad, causes emotion. You may be ambivilent, think it's crap, or in the examples I offered, think they are good.


Well that's a bit too broad, everything can cause an emotion. Then even bad computer poetry could cause emotion.

originally posted by: paraphi
A computer could not write poetry because it lacks humanity.
Is humanity more than a set of parameters indoctrinated by personal experience?



posted on Jan, 23 2016 @ 02:27 PM
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a reply to: theMediator

Try not to over analyse.

Poetry is, in my opinion, something a machine cannot replicate.



posted on Jan, 23 2016 @ 03:56 PM
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a reply to: paraphi

I agree to disagree.

There is virtue in standing by our opinions



posted on Jan, 23 2016 @ 04:57 PM
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Why do humans write poetry in the first place? Just for the hell of it, for fame and fortune, as a therapy to keep him/herself sane like what Mario Vargas Llosa said "When you find yourself in a sh*tstorm, art is the best umbrella."? Maybe to share stories, ideas or feelings, to try and capture their essence?

How about language and how we use it, and the topic of translation? For example I'm reading A Tree Within by Octavio Paz slowly, trying to soak it in. What if we let Google translate this from Spanish?



posted on Jan, 23 2016 @ 05:18 PM
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originally posted by: theMediator
a reply to: paraphi

I agree to disagree.

There is virtue in standing by our opinions

Sometimes virtues are also subjective.



posted on Feb, 28 2016 @ 07:02 PM
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