Shakespeare’s sonnets are considered some of the literary genius most popular works, with some – such as Sonnet 18’s “Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day” – becoming the best-known works in English literature. And with such a wealth of source material at their disposal, scientists at Zyro set themselves a pioneering challenge to mark National Poetry Day – to teach artificial intelligence the art form using Shakespeare’s sonnets.
Armed with the AI behind Zyro’s copywriting tool, the team fed their machine more than 150 Shakespearean sonnets to test whether artificial intelligence is smart enough to craft a poem worthy of the Bard himself.
It’s clear to see how close the AI has come to replicating the Bard’s writing style
Tomas Rasymas, Head of AI at Zyro
Following weeks of practice, the AI began to develop an understanding of sonnet structures.
This saw the cutting-edge technology actually replicating the writing style and language behind a Shakespearean sonnet.
Express.co.uk can now exclusively reveal the finished result for the first time.
Thy brow is gold,
And I see thy glassy face bright,
Who by thy wrinkled brow hath much seen.
And in thy glazed eye I saw a part
Of life that could bear records
Of thy friend, for to age thyself must
Despise vain debate, and to lack
That argument with store, though yet barren.
Thy blackened brow cannot show me this,
Instance of apparel may blot out
As black a point as this, though thy life doth
Heap upon life and lives upon life.
For thus had this friend age’d,
And old age hath no garments to tell it.
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Tomas Rasymas, Head of AI at Zyro explained the success of the experiment via email.
He said: “From this short experiment, it’s clear to see how close the AI has come to replicating the Bard’s writing style.
“Not just the ‘haths’ and ‘doths’ that we can all recognise, but also the 14-line structure that typically defines a Shakespearean sonnet.
“Of course, for any real Shakespeare fans reading this poem, the artificial intelligence still misses some of his signature marks.
“Having only practised for a single month, the AI has not yet captured the full structure of a Shakespearean sonnet, missing the closing rhyming couplet that Shakespeare was so famous for.
He also revealed what the experiment’s success can this teach us about AI.
He said: “Artificial intelligence is evolving at an incredible pace, with new GPT-3 technology making it easier for machines to write and create than ever before.
“While our experiment may not have produced the perfect Shakespearean sonnet, it does demonstrate the power of AI to draft genuinely unique and creative content without human intervention.”
The early poems drafted by Zyro’s AI were even described by their engineers as “emotional”, as demonstrated in the below early example:
How often, the creature of my heart,
What mysterious delight in the night,
Before daylight I can behold,
A young maiden houseless and blushing in heart,
Showing youth and beauty to sad use
Come, hold your hand, and love and desire never
Come to an end, whether your love shall stay or that your delight die
Consequently, although there will always be a place for the poetry of humans, people should expect to see far more creative works being produced by machines in the years ahead.
Mr Rasymas added: “As this technology evolves, we should also expect all forms of writing to become more automated.
“From poems, to news stories, business blogs and even books — in future, AI will be perfectly placed to write, report and create on our behalf.
Earlier this year, Zyro.com launched their first AI festival, which involved successfully training their AI to write songs in the style of famous musicians, rappers and rock stars.
This experiment enabled the cutting-edge company to learn more about their AI’s capabilities and to consider how its skills could translate to future business projects.
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