Updated: Nov 8, 2021
Recently I've been experimenting with a few different AI tools for text generation. Nothing too complex at the moment while I start to get a sense of what's possible (although I do plan to train something on my own data set soon). Sometimes I generated gibberish, sometimes the seeds of what could be an interesting story to pick up and run with. And sometimes, a strangely beautiful metaphor...
I'm not really one for writing love poetry, but I thought I'd see what a romantic collaboration with AI might churn out. I wrote a random line of text into a neural network and then asked it to complete the text. I then chose some of the AI-generated lines (or line segments) that made the most sense and reconstructed them into something new, adding a word here and there for flow. It's a little contrived, but as an early attempt I think it works quite well. It also took quite a dark turn – which might say something for the initial text I input into the machine. (Come to think of it, most of my experimental collaborations turned out quite dark... hmmm!). There were a few more lines about taking off clothes and dying alone, but it all got a bit melodramatic. Ha!
I then input the poem into an AI text-to-image generator to create the hero image to illustrate the poem...
I loved you
I loved you, my love
Lay down with you in the tender dark,
I did not remain.
You brushed my hair away from my lips
or perhaps my shoulders.
Beneath my skin some neon glow,
a surfeit of chlorophyll that mesmerises you.
You thought you were alone.
You, the most self-possessed of souls.
You, who have abandoned me.
I wanted you to be alone.
I should add, the AI didn't know it was writing poetry. I simply asked it to spit out a certain number of words based on an initial text prompt I fed to it. I don't know if it was from the words I wrote, or the syntax or just pure luck, but the AI responded in quite a lyrical way, which lent itself well to something more poetic in structure.
If you're interested, here's the raw text the AI offered, before I restructured it and added a few words here and there: loved you, how could you possibly love me? my love you in the tender dark: I lay down with you and did not remain: I took off my clothes, in the soft white light you brushed my hair away from my lips, or perhaps from my shoulders: a surfeit of chlorophyll, some neon glow I'd read about, that mesmerizes you, too. You thought you were alone. I wanted you to be alone. You have abandoned me. I must die alone. Except for the most self-possessed of souls, I have never been able to tell" (and then it just stops mid-sentence as it hits the word limit).
Text generator: InferKit, talk to transformer
Text to image generator: AttnGAN