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  • Hetvi Kamdar

Idea #34 - Can Robots Write Poetry

Tis but the ecstasy of death,

And then the brake is almost done,

And sunrise grows so near,

Sunrise grows so near

That we can touch the despair and

Frenzied hope of all the ages.”

Can you tell if this piece of literature is written by man or if it is written by a computer? Would you feel differently about it if you were told it is written by the latter? This was, in fact, written by AI!

With everything AI proves to be capable of doing, we find ourselves wondering if there is anything at all AI alone cannot accomplish. Surely literature, since it involves not only intelligence quotient but emotional quotient as well, even more so. But does that stop AI from writing poetry nonetheless?

Today we watched Oscar Schwartz’s Can A Computer Write Poetry? TEDx to understand AI’s foothold on yet another facet of civilisation. We learned that there are, indeed, softwares that can grasp a poet’s writing style by analysing their material. Based on the Turing Test coined in in the 1950s, Oscar Schwartz, along with his friend, Benjamin Liard, made a software called Bot or Not. This software gives you two poems, one written by a real person and the other written by AI, and you try to decipher which one is the work of AI.

Bot or Not has - surpassing Turing’s theory that if a computer could fool a human 30% of the time, it passes the intelligence test - fooled over 65% of its readers!

As a follow up, we ourselves had poems written by AI on Verse by Verse, and needless to say, we were not disappointed!


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