Traditional Publishing

AI is better at writing poems than you’d expect. But that’s fine. – Tuesday February 14, 2023

In 1950, computer scientist Alan Turing famously proposed what we now call the Turing test of artificial intelligence, which says that a machine might be “thinking” if it can pass as human in a typewritten chat. Even if you’re familiar with this story, you might not know that Turing imagined starting his test with a literary request: “Please write me a sonnet on the subject of the Forth Bridge.” He predicted an evasive but very human response from some future computer: “Count me out on this one. I never could write poetry.” That’s just what my dad would say.

Last week, I sent the same request to ChatGPT, the latest artificial-intelligence chatbot from OpenAI. “Upon the Firth of Forth, a bridge doth stand,” it began. In less than a minute, the program had created in full a rhyming Shakespearean sonnet. With the exception of offensive or controversial topics that its content filters block, ChatGPT will compose original verse on any theme: lost love, lost socks, jobs lost to automation. Tools like ChatGPT seem poised to change the world of poetry — and so much else — but poets also have a lot to teach us about artificial intelligence. If algorithms are getting good at writing poetry, it’s partially because poetry was always an algorithmic business.

To read the full article on, click here