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Microsoft’s Xiaoice chatbot has written a book of poetry

MICROSOFT’S AI CHATBOT Xiaoice has published a book of poems. And critics are divided.

The South China Morning Post reports that the China-facing chatbot and sibling of Xiaobing has been taught how to construct poetry.

A book of 139 poems generated by the chatbot and entitled “The Sunlight That Lost The Glass Window” has divided critics.

Some have suggested it could bring the joy of poetry to younger readers, but many are not so sure.

Literary Professor Zhang Zonggang of the Nanjing University of Science and Technology’s Poetry Research Centre said that the poetry could create a whole new world and evoke reader responses that are different from human-made poems.

“This is what we call a poetic jump. This is what turns a few lines of words into a poem,” he said. “The work carries a strange taste. The more you chew on it, the more interesting it becomes.”

“A well-crafted poem may win a lover’s heart as effectively as nine thousand roses” he added.

Establishing that you’re not supposed to eat the book, Mu Ye, president of Menglong Poetry Society added:

“Accept it or not, we may be standing at the dawn of a new age,” Mu said. “Poetry nowadays falls in two main genres, classic and modern. But in future, AI-generated or AI-assisted works may flourish and become AI poetry, the third genre.”

But Shanghai poet Din Shaoguo warned “It could kill our beloved art” adding “A computer that has not lived life cannot write a poem,”.

Another poet, Yu Jian, described the poetry as ‘terrible’: “It disgusted me with its slippery tone and rhythm. The sentences were aimless and superficial, lacking the inner logic for emotional expression,”.

“If writing a poem can be done by a machine, won’t the world become very boring?”

Judge for yourself – here’s one of Xiaoice’s poems:

The rain is blowing through the sea

A bird in the sky

A night of light and calm


Now in the sky

Cool heart

The savage north wind

When I found a new world.

The spirit of Tay’s teenage angst lingers on, it would seem.

We had a more unscientific go at creating AI poetry using Google’s Gboard predictive text. We had to jolt it out of word loops a couple of times, but it’s not half bad:

Roses are red

violets are blue

and white and blue and white

and green bay Packers and movers and shakers

the same Soda stream of consciousness

and blue and white and blue and gold

and equipment legitimately means playing with an eBay store

and blue and white and blue and

white striped Bassett furniture.

The Bridport Prize awaits. μ

Further reading

Source : Inquirer

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