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What We’re Reading: Can AI write poetry?

Adrienne Gibbs
The Medium Blog
Published in
4 min readApr 6, 2024

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Hi everyone,

What role does poetry play in your life?

Growing up as the child of a librarian, I was surrounded by books. Pulitzer finalist Lucille Clifton’s affirming words, Gwendolyn Brooks’ tales of Chicago, and Langston Hughes’ lush letters figured prominently in my home. We had quite a bit of Rumi, Shel Silverstein, and Carl Sandburg added in for good measure.

I was recently pleased to learn that

, the current poet laureate of Anaheim, California, writes on Medium. Earlier this year, Van Camp described what it’s like to have that gig.

Van Camp is one of hundreds of poets who call Medium home. If you aren’t already familiar with the vast world of verses here, I invite you to take a look at the poetry topic page or explore this guide to poetry on Medium. After all, it’s National Poetry Month in the U.S.!

Do you have a favorite poet or poetry publication on Medium? Respond to this post to let me know — I’d love to hear about it.

See you on Medium.

, Director of Content at Medium

What We’re Reading

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Today’s Final Word goes to

, who writes about her experiment asking AI to create poetry. Can a language learning model really imitate the emotion needed to write a good poem? In “The Future of Poetry: Is AI Smarter Than an 8th Grader?” Elman says this:

“‘Write a poem about a sunrise.’ I asked three AI chatbots — OpenAI’s ChatGPT-4, Google’s Bard, and Anthropic’s Claude — and myself — an 8th grade human. I then surveyed a panel of 38 AI experts and 39 English experts to judge the results. Is AI smarter than an 8th grader?

And the survey says…AI is not smarter than an 8th grader, at least not yet. The 8th grader won 1st place, and by a higher margin when judged by English experts. Bard, ChatGPT-4, and Claude came in 2nd, 3rd, and 4th places, respectively, both in writing quality and their ability to fool the judges into believing they were authored by a human. Most strikingly, English experts were far better at discerning which poems were written by AI, with 11 English experts vs. only 3 AI experts guessing the author (human vs. AI) of all four poems correctly. This points to a need for English experts to play a greater role in helping shape future versions of AI technology.”

Keep reading here.

Read or write anything new? Share it in the responses — we’d love to check it out.

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Adrienne Gibbs
The Medium Blog

Director of Content @Medium. Award-winning journalist. Featured in a Beyoncé reel. Before now? EBONY, Netflix, Sun-Times, Miami Herald, Boston Globe.