AI-Generated Poetry – “The Box of Light That Had Been a Tree”

March 22, 2021 | 2 minutes read

Britain is planning to present an AI-powered poetry installation for world poetry day’s celebrations at Expo Dubai. How do machines learn to write poetry? This AI model by UK’s researchers can show you how. Here is the sample of AI-generated poetry by the algorithm:

and soon I am staring out again,

begin to practice my words, expecting my word

will come. it will not. the wind is calling.

my friend is near, I hear his breath. his breath

is not the air. he touches me again with his hands

and tells me I am growing old, he says, far old.

we travel across an empty field in my heart.

there is nothing in the dark, I think, but he.

I close my eyes and try to remember what I was.

he says it was an important and interesting day,

because I put in his hands one night

the box of light that had been a tree.

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Model Training for AI-generated Poetry:

The sample shown above is a result of intensive training of ML algorithms. The algorithm has been trained with millions of lines of poetry of hundreds of British contemporary poets. Although, we can find many AI-powered poetry examples, however, what makes this model special is that it is a joint collaboration between programmers and poets.

According to Guardian, poetry experts tested the algorithm and filtered the couplets:

“I think we all individually went through 40,000 couplets in the end. We removed arcane language, we took out offensive and violent or discriminatory language. Then we looked at whether the second line responded to the first, and it learned. We fed back when something really struck us, such as when metaphors worked really well. It certainly was a lot more nonsense language to start with, but it did get better.” – Tracey Guiry, Director Poetry Archive

Previously, Google’s AI-generated poetry platform ‘verse by verse’ made waves due to its interactive and creative nature.