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Poetry & AI

ChatGPT is capable of creating poetry of all different types. Limericks, sonnets, haikus, or free verse poetry can all be AI generated by ChatGPT. This creation ability is not only a threat because of plagiarism, but because of the relevancy of writers and poets.

The article "THE SHIFT" by Kevin Roose provides insight into the creation and motives of the company, OpenAI, that created ChatGPT in the following passage, "From the start, OpenAI has billed itself as a mission-driven organization that wants to ensure that advanced A.I. will be safe and aligned with human values. But in recent years, the company has embraced a more competitive spirit — one that some critics say has come at the expense of its original aims." (Roose 3).

Some very real fears about this program in the field of poetry are that ChatGPT will be able to generate poetry that is "passable" or even better than human poets, and that people will use ChatGPT to generate poems and pass it off as their original work. Some possible poems that could be generated are specific rhyme schemes or forms of poetry (i.e. haiku, sonnet, sestina). While these are certainly valid concerns, I think that poetry is something that can't be fully captured by A.I. One thing that poetry does is make people feel something, for example, what the poet felt when they were experiencing what they described in their poem. Poets also make intentional choices like writing with short lines or choosing certain words to get their desire audience to feel something specific. This thoughtfulness is something that I don't think A.I. could imitate, as it is inherently human.

Below, I have included an example of how ChatGPT can be used to generate a poem. This program took less than a minute to come up with a poem that fit my specifications. ABAB rhyme scheme refers to the last word of each line. The first line ends with "rise," setting the pattern for all of the odd, or "A," lines of the poem. The second line ends in "glow," setting the pattern for all of the even, or "B," lines of the poem. Furthermore, the AI program can create Hikus with the specification of 5, 7, and 5 syllables in each line (see below) or even Shakespearian sonnets. The programmer can even specific what content they want in the poem. While ChatGPT technically gave me what I asked for, it can be identified as non-human in a number of ways. The program made no conscious decision when It came to their word choice. The program had no audience in mind when generating this poem and therefore made no attempt to appeal to their emotions. There is also a sense of detachment in this poem which is partially created by the program's use of antiquated words like "doth." It is devoid of the life that a poet would bring to their writing, in other words.

While I am not overly concerned with the emergence of this new technology when it comes to my future career, I do think that it is a topic that should continue to be discussed and pondered, especially in settings like colleges and universities. This topic is especially relevant in these settings because of the importance of ethics, and the possibility of students using ChatGPT to complete assignments for them. One of the problems with this is that students don't learn the concepts that are being taught in these assignments, and they will likely be worse off in the long run by not learning them.

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