The poet seldom fails to deal with the glory of trees, whether it be Joyce Kilmer (“I think I will never see / A beautiful poem like a tree”) or Philip Larkin (“the castles without a thirst / In a thick desert all May”). up with the almost intelligible image of a “light box that had been a tree”.
The algorithm, believed by those behind it to be the best attempt to date to train artificial intelligence to write poetry, inspired by more than 100 contemporary British poets, has learned from the style of poets such as Simon Armitage and Alice Oswald. He was then given “seed words”, from which he would give cups based on his understanding of poetry. Experts from the Poetry Society, the Scottish Poetry Archive and the Scottish Poetry Library then went through tens of thousands of cups to pick up on what had and didn’t work. They did this again and again in five months, before the AI’s output started to improve.
“I think we’ve all gone through 40,000 pairs in the end,” said Tracey Guiry, director of the Poetry Archive. “We have removed the language of arcane, we have introduced offensive and brutal language or discrimination. Then we looked at whether the second line answered the first one, and whether it learned. We brought food back when something real hit us, such as when metaphors worked well. Of course it was a lot weirder at first, but it got better. ”
“We travel across an empty field in my heart. / there is nothing in the dark, I think, but him, ”ran the AI poem. “I close my eyes and try to remember what I was. / he says it was an important and interesting day, / because I put it in my hands one night / the light box that was a tree. ”
Guiry said that the light box images struck the poetry experts as “really clever”: “The AI would bring out something that made you think.” It would not produce or reproduce what one would write because that is a real subject response, the experience may not have been alive. But surely, it would take two lines that would make man think more of things. ”
The algorithm will now be used for a projected interactive installation on the front of the UK pavilion at the delayed Dubai Expo 2020, which is now set to run from October 2021 to March 2022. With titled Shared Message, the installation was inspired by a Stephen Hawking project that asked what the common message humanity could have if it communicated with another gender. The aim is to explore whether a computer program can “express the complex nature of humanity through a verse”.
Visitors can add the display of words they feel describe humanity, or life on Earth, to the “Shared Message”, which the AI uses to generate poetic cups. These are sent to the UK pavilion for six months, creating one big poem.
The project was led by artist Es Devlin and brand group Avantgarde, with Google’s Arts and Culture lab offering advice on the algorithm.
“I feel like we’ve trained the baby. We haven’t seen the adult work yet, ”said Guiry from the upcoming installation.
An example of the poetry that the AI is currently doing:
and soon I’m looking out again,
start using my words, expect my word
thig. no. the wind is shouting.
my friend is close, I can hear his breath. the breath
that is not the air. he touches me again with his hands
and telling me that I am getting old, he says, very old.
we travel across the empty field of my heart.
there is nothing in the dark, I think, but him.
I close my eyes and try to remember what I was.
he says it was an important and interesting day,
for I put it in my hands one night
the light box that had been a tree.