a special group of readers called "Prospectors", whose job it is to read all of the poetic output of the country and report on all significant trends in word usage. At present, for instance, it is practically obligatory for the poet to employ such words as nubile and incandescent at least once in each poem.Now, of course, the Prospectors have also been automated, but they still pick up current trends, which are often unwanted by the real controllers of the machine and censored for 'racism' or a hundred other isms. The good Austrian Doctor is lecturing to a tour group:
"It ees not true," said Dr. Yaffee at the conclusion of his short lecture, as severely as if one of us had suggested that it was true, "that the Yaffee Electronic Relay Poem-Writer vill eventually supersede or obsolete the poet. What it vill do ees to free the poet from the mechanical trammels that have hitherto shackled him, increase his output, and enhance his leisure.Sound familiar? One of the tour group bravely volunteers to provide a subject and name for a sonnet. The machine labors for several minutes and then prints out: THE HOUR IS TWICE A CAT ON VELVET ROSE WHO MELTS THE MOON UNTIL THE WILLOW SINGS UNFOUND DELIGHT STANDS WHERE THE LANTERN GROWS AND MEETS THE GLASSY SHORE ON DOWNCAST WINGS. THE WEARY NOMAD FRAMES HIS ROAD APART REPELLED BY CAUTION ON THE SHATTERED BRINK TO HER HE FLINGS HIS INCANDESCENT HEART UNCERTAIN OF THE SNOW HE LONGS TO SINK FORGOTTEN FEARS CREEP DOWN THE BROKEN WALL DIM SHADOWS TWIST THE CONTOURS OF THE SEA THE WIND REPEATS THE EARNEST SEAGULLS CALL AND GIVES LIKE DREAMING RAIN THE MORNINGS KEY Sound familiar? Incidentally, the obligatory words for today's poetry machines are gay and odor. One is expected, the other isn't. Or maybe it is. Credit footnote: I've been trying to find more info on the remarkably prophetic Elizabeth W Thomas, but Google doesn't get there. Elizabeth Marshall Thomas started writing in the '50s and is still alive and still writing, so she fills the references. Possibly the same, but seems unlikely. The latter specializes in archeology and Egyptian stuff, with no obvious connections to computers or data processing in the '50s. Many of the ACM opinion pieces were by well-known sci-fi authors, so Elizabeth might have worked in those circles.
Labels: Not AI point-missing
The current icon shows Polistra using a Personal Equation Machine.