We tried Verse by Verse, Google’s AI that writes poetry

[ Art and AI , episode 11]
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Google has launched a new tool, called Verse by Verse , to allow anyone to create poems in the style of 22 famous poets (for now only Americans, therefore, in English) using artificial intelligence.

The new tool (with which you can experiment by clicking here ), starting from an input entered by the user, helps him in writing a verse in the style of a famous writer. In fact, users can choose up to three poets from a list that includes, among others, Emily Dickinson, Walt Whitman, Edgar Alla Poe and Robert Frost.

After choosing which poets to use as inspirational muses, the tool asks users to design the structure of the poem. In fact, it is possible to decide the poetic form (between quatrain, couplet and free verse), the quantity of syllables per verse and the rhyming scheme (ABAB, AABB, ABBA, ABCB, or even no rhyme).

Once the structure of the poem is decided, the composition process begins. The user, after entering the first verse, is asked to choose between different suggestions to continue with the second verse and so on until the last. The user is free to do whatever he wants with the verses: he can write his own, he can modify those that have been suggested to him or make those proposed by the machine fit . Once the poem is complete, you can give it a title and save it.

How does it work

Google explained that the suggestions provided by Verse by Verse are not word sequences drawn from what poets wrote during their lifetime, but completely new verses generated to "sound" like the ones that poets could have written.

To build the tool, Google engineers trained the model with the entire body of works from various authors to allow the machine to capture their writing style.

Furthermore, the system has been trained to have a general semantic understanding of which verses would best follow a previous verse, so that even people who write on topics not commonly covered by classical poetry can be helped with pertinent suggestions.

Through the tool, Google aims to provide inspiration for new art and not to replace the poet.

A little test: a guide to using Verse by Verse

I tried Verse by Verse , but its accuracy in providing helpful hints didn't impress me. The initial screen looks like this: you are allowed to choose three authors to draw inspiration from. I chose Edgar Allan Poe, James Weldon Johnson and Walt Whitman.

verse by verse

Then you are asked to structure the poem. I have kept the structure that is proposed to you in standard maneira: I would like to write a quatrain composed of novenary verses in alternating rhyme ABAB.

verse by verse

I then inserted the first verse of the quatrain: "I will write for you, my dear TechCuE," (a beautiful romantic dedication to the site for which I write)

verse by verse

And continued, verse after verse, choosing from those proposed to me on the right by the three "poets". Here is the final composition!

What do you think of my poem? Not much, right? Try it yourself and see if you get a better one!

The article We tried Verse by Verse, Google's AI that writes poetry comes from TechCuE .