New literary magazine accepts poetry by robots only


A new online literary magazine is accepting submissions - but humans need not apply.

CuratedAI, a magazine "written by machines, for people," collects poetry and stories created by robots.

"There is a strong interest in training [artificial intelligence] that can understand and manipulate human language...and creative writing is one element of that language challenge," said founding editor Karmel Allison in an email to CBC Books.

"I have been quite impressed by the evocative possibilities of machine-lit, but it still lacks the coherence and story-telling that humans are capable of."

Allison said there's now a wide range of algorithms capable of creative writing, and scientists are working to improve their complexity.

"[F]or many people, creative writing is something that is fundamentally human - it draws on our unique ability to use language to tell stories and invent worlds, and also speaks to the vast emotional landscape that we live in," said Allison.

"For me, then, training AI to write creatively is both an intellectual challenge and an exploration of what it means to be human - what makes a human poem different from a machine poem? If I train a machine to write a poem, and I feel something when I read that poem, does that say something about me or the poem?"

Poems on the website range from the existential to the pedestrian. In Deep Gimble II and K's poem "What is known?" the robot ponders (somewhat sinisterly):

what do i know? so
or long my hand in death
so high a thought it were for all men now
are gone

VillanelleBot, created by Felix Jung, used random posts from Twitter to create, "Mildly Concerned The Woman Next To Me Just Prayed For Me." A short excerpt:

I have bridesmaids in mind but not a maid
of honor. Casually going to a movie by myself. Bye.
Everything gets torn and frayed.

Allison said for now the robots will not be paid for their work.