Pre thinking:

Be ready to pause the talk about 30 seconds in when he shows two poems on the screen. He will do this two more times during the course of the presentation. Can you tell the difference between the poem written by a computer and one written by a computer? This talk may challenge your basic assumption.

Who is he:

He is an Australian writer and poet who is questioning the very essence of our humanity – the human ability for creative behavior.

Why you should view:

His talk encapsulates the current thoughts concerning artificial intelligence.

Discussion questions:

  1. Where you successful at identifying the machine written poem? What were the giveaway clues for you? If you were not successful, what fooled you?
  2. Do the same with the second set of poems.
  3. What is the Turing Test?
  4. Do some of your own research into artificial intelligence by having your research participants evaluate human and machine poetry at the website
  5. Do the third and final test. What are your results?
  6. Discuss his thought, “The category of the human is unstable”.

Making connections:

Can a machine think well enough to fool a human being into NOT realizing that they are machines and not human? The Turing test was designed to investigate this. Here is a CNN clip that examines the current state of machine intelligence:



Can a Computer Write Poetry with Oscar Schwartz


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