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Artificial Intelligence, Poetry and Yoda – Article

So, an AI robot can write a poem.

A home transformed by the lightning
the balanced alcoves smother
this insatiable earth of a planet, Earth.
They attacked it with mechanical horns
because they love you, love, in fire and wind.
You say, what is the time waiting for in its spring?
I tell you it is waiting for your branch that flows,
because you are a sweet-smelling diamond architecture
that does not know why it grows.

But, can ‘it’ read poetry?

Poetry isn’t just about expression, it’s a snip of history, capturing feelings of time, location and being then placing these items into words.

As a child, part of my school education involved breaking down poetry in a bid to find the hidden message, learning to peel through the layers. I’ve not had further education or a long career in writing but much of my leisure time has been spent trying to understand English verse.

Not being an academic I’ve tended towards the things which interest me. As a child and young woman I was attracted to devotional poems by nuns. Later, I started to enjoy Robert Graves’ musings on The Greek Myths and then read The White Goddess and learnt about his theories. I feel he is the master of code.

It seemed to me that to be able to read poetry and break it down you must be good at rhythm and recognising the use of pattern to carry a character along. How a leap of faith within a poem can be a message to the reader sometimes a secret, underlying one.

Poetry is an info graphic of words. So what do our robot poems tell us? They tell us that artificial intelligence can put together a great poem – the poem above won awards. However, I’ve yet to see any research, which has been successful, for AI to understand complex poetry.

For me, it seems important that robots cannot understand everything that we say unless we want them to. Instructions should be simple not instinctive. The rush to make them human like disturbs me.

According to Graves, and many agree with his rather male perspective of his fantastic poem investigations from our past, we were once an Earth of Goddess worshippers. Then, women got forcibly disinherited from their power. Since, we have had time of Gods and men. So, massive shifts of power are possible.

If there were to be another global revolution what form would it take? Would we be looking at a huge difference to the way we see our world living under Artificial Intelligence? Would we humans be capable of living life under something like science fiction’s The Borg?

And if this were to happen…how important would creativity and poetry be? Would we long for a line so sublime just to take us away for a day from the mechanically? How important would being able to say something in a day for tomorrow plans be?

Right now neither of those last two sentences are grammatically correct but most of us can we understand them because we are human. AI currently could not.

Paranoid I may seem but not because anyone is after me. It’s because I know that intelligent people feed the beast of artificial intelligence without truly knowing or understanding the purpose.

Just because you can make something doesn’t mean you should. Hashtag poetry for security it be. If you don’t want AI to pick up on what you say, speak the Yoda way.


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