Poetry by the Cybernetic Poet


A poem written by Ray Kurzweil's Cybernetic Poet
after reading poems by Patricia Camarena Rose and Sue Klapes Kelly

Beams of the dawn at the angel
with a calm, silent sea
with a hundred times we write,
with a chance we can open up
a steady rhythm in his face
silent room
desolate beach,
Scattering remains of love.


Ray Kurzweil’s Cybernetic Poet:

RKCP appears to be significantly more successful than other simpler poetry generation programs. It often generates rich poetic language and some reasonable fraction of its output appear to be at least coherent poems. Because of the language modeling and recursive poetry generation techniques used by RKCP, there is significant "linkage" between all the words in a given generated poem. The goals used by RKCP are "stronger" in terms of local linkages, that is between words or lines that are relatively near each other. Thus RKCP is particularly successful in writing shorter poems such as Haiku although longer poems are often successful as well. Additional modeling techniques have been added that facilitate writing longer poems with thematic unity.

RKCP is most effective at producing interesting lines of poetry and turns of phrase, and is less effective in maintaining coherency through an entire poem. This strength is exploited in the "poet’s assistant" authoring tool. The purpose of this tool is not primarily to write entire poems, but rather to assist and stimulate a (human) poet in finding the right verbal images and phrases. These results are often intriguing and surprising.

Most other attempts at computer written poetry have used relatively simple algorithms involving straightforward combinations of randomly chosen words, or "templates" in which a word is randomly chosen from various lists for each point in a structured poem. RKCP’s techniques are significantly more sophisticated and thus its results are more varied and more interesting than those produced by these simpler approaches.

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