dartmouth institute

Shall I compare the to an IBM S-370/XA?

Dartmouth College’s Neukom Institute for Computational Science is sponsoring a competition for the best computer-generated sonnets.  

The rules:

  1. A contemporary computer should be able to run the code and generate a sonnet within 24 hours using less than 8G of RAM.
  2. The algorithm/software should respond to a noun or noun phrase “prompt” (e.g., “hat”, “car keys”, “wedding”, “sorrow”, “violin case”) and be capable of producing an effectively unlimited number of original sonnets.
  3. Submissions must include source code, and programs must be capable of generating distinct sonnets with high probability.

I seriously cannot WAIT to see what the machines come up with! Here’s an example from a couple of years ago – programmer Charles Dawson wrote a Shakespearean sonnet generator in Java that produced gems like this:

Sonnet The First

With mine only care
Then hate after new faith in a very part was thy looks with me, tired with me, that writes of a tomb the wide as thus;
That for what he shows you to his sweet fingers.
Walk with winter hath motion, and lovely knights, when sometime lofty towers I then give thee partake?
And with what old words new, and therein showest,
and will pluck the prey of thine eyes
but weep afresh love’s veins thou wilt; if never can forbid?
From their pride I not think me thus: mine eye hath in me.
Yet thou wert thou being made from woe to write the earth removed that to

Our own 13.7 blog just had an interview with Neukom’s director Dan Rockmore – check that out here.

Cry havoc, and let slip the dogs of, um … processing power?

– Petra