In Which I Take Google’s New “Poemportraits” for a Spin

Google has a new toy, created by Es Devlin called the PoemPortrait. Google, unpretentiously, calls it

An experiment at the boundaries of AI and human collaboration.

We are all invited to

Donate a word to become part of an ever evolving collective poem and create your own POEMPORTRAIT.

So I went to try it. It starts by asking you to “donate” a word. At that point, philistine that I am, all I could think of was Groucho Marx on the old game show ‘You Bet Your Life’, which always began with Groucho telling contestants that “Say the secret word and a duck will come down and give you 100 dollars.” (Shockingly, there seems to be no ringtone online with Grouch saying that. So here’s a video clip instead:)

Anyway, back to Google. I gave it my word (“Discourse” of course) and it announced that “An algorithm trained on over 20 million words of 19th century poetry is generating your unique POEMPORTRAIT.” I declined the offer to have my picture taken, and…voilà:

The poem was

That discourse of the word,
Spellbind the corn, sighing and streaming.

It offered me a chance to save the ‘portrait’ so I did.  But this is how it came out:

I’m reassured to see that AI’s too can be dyslexic.

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1 Response to In Which I Take Google’s New “Poemportraits” for a Spin

  1. Earl Killian says:

    Who owns the copyright? 😉

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