Generating Poems with AI

 If you are simultaneously disappointed by the sad state of affiars in songs and also nostalgic for the kind of lyrics they used to have back in the day, worry not, AI might have the answer. A team of researchers from Kyoto University, consisting of Bei Liu, Jianlong Fu, Makoto P. Kato and Masatoshi Yoshikawa have devised a new method to train AI to generate poetry that offers you a haven from the prevalent nonsense in the form of mumble rap.

HOW TO TRAIN YOUR AI: Automatic Poetry Creation.

The task of developing AI to follow in the footsteps of Shakespeare and Keats is easier imagined than done. To accomplish this, the team fed multiple images paired with human written-descriptions and poems to the AI, so as to establish a link between the two. Moreover, the team also taught the algorithm patterns to identify poetic devices like similes, metaphors and the like. Certain colours were even allocated a corresponding colour. This process was dubbed as “visual-poetic embedding”, in which the poetic representation from objects, sentiments and scenes was instilled in the AI through an algorithm.

what-author-meant-what-teacher-thinks-they-meant

(Just like every high school student, the AI learnt that the blue of the curtains represented the poet’s innate sadness)

It’s Verse Time

The AI then had to generate poems to satisfy both relevance to the image and poetic-ness. The generated poems were classified into four classes: poetic, disordered, paragraphic and generated.

In contrast with most poem generation researches that emphasize on meter, rhyme or other traditional poetic techniques, the team’s research focuses on free verse, which is a slightly more relaxed pattern of poetry. So the Kyoto Team was to Automatic Poetry Creation what Robin Williams was to the students of Welton Academy in Dead Poets’ Society: a pioneer who wasn’t afraid to implement an out-of-box approach.

Ten and Peller: Fool Us!

The poems were scrutinised by a panel of human experts who had to guess the source of a given piece of verse. More often than not, they were proven wrong by the sophistication of the poems generated by the AI.

Applications: While we may be light years from the day when a collection of verse written by a robot becomes a classic, this research might provide an impetus to the current chatbot scene, providing significantly better communication assistance to consumers.

HONORABLE MENTIONS: Some of the generated poems are mentioned below:

the sun rays struck my face
warm tingles to my fingertips

 the light showed me a path i should walk down

 I spoke and the whispers of the breeze told me to close my eyes

I lost my way in a paradise

 —————– 

I will find a little bird that shivers

and falls the morrow

 ————–

this realm of rain

grey sky and cloud

it’s quite and peaceful

safe allowed

 —————- 

I am a coal-truck

by a broken heart

I have no sound

the sound of my heart

I am not

Read more about the process here: https://arxiv.org/pdf/1804.08473.pdf

In Conclusion
As we take steps away from humanity, artificial intelligence gets closer to it. While on one hand, this may mean that the classic robot impression might one day become obsolete, this also promises a new era of reliability and precision, while still retaining the humane factor that machines previously lacked.

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