Dartmouth contest shows computers aren’t such good poets


Computers are pretty good at stocking shelves and operating cars, but are not so good at writing poetry.

By MICHAEL CASEY
Associated Press

HANOVER, N.H.

Computers are pretty good at stocking shelves and operating cars, but are not so good at writing poetry.

That is the conclusion from a competition at Dartmouth College in which scientists were tasked with designing artificial intelligence algorithms that could produce sonnets.

Judges compared the results with those of humans to see if they could tell the difference. In every instance, the judges were able to find the sonnet produced by a computer program.

The competition was a variation of the “Turing Test,” named for British computer scientist Alan Turing, who in 1950 proposed an experiment to determine if a computer could have humanlike intelligence.

The results, announced Wednesday night, included a short story competition and one involving competing computer and human DJs.

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