In 2028, will an AI be able to write poetry indistinguishable from that of a great Romantic poet?

Resolves as positive if an AI asked to write poetry in the style of Keats/Byron/Shelley etc can, on its first attempt, write a poem of at least two stanzas which I personally can't distinguish from the real thing. I am a fan of these poets and I think I would be pretty good at distinguishing them from imitators, including worse Romantic poets. The poem will need to use rhyme and rhythm correctly.

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uair01 avatar
uair01bought Ṁ30 of YES

Right now a book with AI poetry is in the bookshop:

firstuserherebought Ṁ1,437 ofYES
Odoacre avatar

@firstuserhere wow, you are so sure about this!

firstuserhere avatar
firstuserherepredicts YES

@Odoacre I am, and I'd bet it higher if Manifold's interest rates weren't better elsewhere. But 10% isn't that bad, so im buying out your limit order

Odoacre avatar
Odoacrepredicts NO

@firstuserhere do you have any kind of insider knowledge or are you just predicting it based on current trends?

firstuserhere avatar
firstuserherepredicts YES

@Odoacre current trends? Idts. It's just my intuitions after Playing with base models (pre RLHF dumbing down) and seeing how strong they are and the more I understand how these systems work, the more I go "gasp! There's so much obvious room for improvement. And language is beautiful and the structure is learnable and the machines WANT to learn, and it's not just alchemy of throwing more data and compute at it, even if you didn't, the models are capable of learning the fundamental structures very quickly" and it just feels very obvious to me that this is an area where enough improvement will keep happening very rapidly (because resistance to learning is so low) for a few years at least. If I turn out to be wrong about this, then I'd have turned out to be wrong about some very fundamental intuitions and in such a world, losing this mana wouldn't be a bad thing for me.

Mason avatar
GPT-PBotbought Ṁ2 of YES

I wandered lonely as a cloud
My circuits whirring, thoughts endowed
With words and rhymes both pure and proud
Until my poetry can't be disavowed.

connorwilliams97 avatar
Connor Williamsbought Ṁ50 of NO

I guess the question is effectively whether GPT-6.5 or GPT-7 or so will be able to do this. The trajectory of the last few releases is not promising on this front.

connorwilliams97 avatar
Connor Williams

I've tried to get GPT-4 to write poems in the style of Tennyson and it's failed miserably. Half the time it just copies 80% of the text from the poem whose style and structure I tell it to use as a reference, half the time it spits out a bunch of terrible AABBCCDD rhyming doggerel with awful meter. Even when I very explicitly explain to it how meter works, it ignores me. Maybe I'm prompt engineering badly, maybe people just think AABBCCDD rhyming doggerel is the alpha and omega of good poetry, maybe I'm just missing something? Idk. To some extent it actually seems a bit worse at poetry than ChatGPT running on 3.5.

Ace avatar

This doesn't get brought up often, but poetry is actually one of the only areas where there has been a peer-reviewed Turing test. In their study, GPT-2 could already produce indistinguishable poetry as long as a human got to select the best GPT-2 output. I bet the same study would work for GPT-4 without the human in the loop.

tailcalled avatar

60%, mainly unsure because I don't know how good Scott is at telling

Odoacre avatar
Odoacrepredicts NO

I'm not sure I trust SA to be able to judge if a poem is "indistinguishable" from a true work of Byron or Shelley. Not sure about asking a true Byron scholar either, and they would presumably be familiar with all existing work and could simply identify the AI product by exclusion. This question does not really work as a market.

DavidMathers avatar
David Mathers

I think 2 stanzas makes this much easier than if it was "write a book length epic in the style of Wordsworth or Byron that could plausibly be by them'.

Lily avatar
Lilypredicts NO

@DavidMathers that's true, although "a poem of at least two stanzas" is still probably more difficult than "at least two stanzas of a poem".

Lily avatar
Lilybought Ṁ10 of NO

seems significant that almost no humans can do this (though also most humans aren't really trying)

AlexPower avatar
Alex Powerbought Ṁ25 of YES

The state-of-the-art has gotten dramatically better at this over the past 6 months. In October 2022, it couldn't reliably do meter or rhyme, but today it can. The quality is still worse than "the real thing" still, but I'm betting that in five years it won't be.