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National Poetry Day: Can AI Write Like Shakespeare?

Rural English Cottage

Today marks National Poetry Day, with schools across the country celebrating the works of great poets like Wordsworth, Keats, and Shakespeare.

To celebrate this day, Zyro’s data scientists set up an experiment to see if they could teach AI to write some poetry of its own.

Using the AI behind Zyro’s copywriting tool, the team fed in over 150 Shakespearean sonnets to test whether artificial intelligence is smart enough to craft a poem worthy of the Bard himself.

The result

After weeks of practice, the AI began to develop an understanding of sonnet structures and to replicate the writing style and language behind a great Shakespearean sonnet.

So here it is, the first work of Shakespeare written entirely by Zyro’s AI:

Thy brow is gold,

And I see thy glassy face bright,

Who by thy wrinkled brow hath much seen.

And in thy glazed eye I saw a part

Of life that could bear records

Of thy friend, for to age thyself must

Despise vain debate, and to lack

That argument with store, though yet barren.

Thy blackened brow cannot show me this,

Instance of apparel may blot out

As black a point as this, though thy life doth

Heap upon life and lives upon life.

For thus had this friend age’d,

And old age hath no garments to tell it.

From this short experiment, it’s clear to see how close the AI has come to replicating the Bard’s writing style.

Not just the ‘haths’ and ‘doths’ that we can all recognize, but also the 14-line structure that typically defines a Shakespearean sonnet.

Of course, for any real Shakespeare fans reading this poem, the artificial intelligence still misses some of his signature marks.

Having only practiced for a single month, the AI has not yet captured the full structure of a Shakespearean sonnet, missing the closing rhyming couplet that Shakespeare was so famous for.

What can this teach us about AI?

Person reading closeup

Artificial intelligence is evolving at an incredible pace.

The new GPT-3 technology is making it easier for machines to write and create than ever before.

And while our experiment may not have produced the perfect Shakespearean sonnet, it demonstrates the power of AI to draft genuinely unique and creative content without human intervention.

In some cases, the early poems drafted by Zyro’s AI could even be described as emotional, as demonstrated in the below early example:

How often, the creature of my heart,

What mysterious delight in the night,

Before daylight I can behold,

A young maiden houseless and blushing in heart,

Showing youth and beauty to sad use

Come, hold your hand, and love and desire never

Come to an end, whether your love shall stay or that your delight die

While there will always be a place for the poetry of humans, we should expect to see far more creative works being produced by machines in the years ahead.

As this technology evolves, we should also expect all forms or writing to become more automated.

From poems to news stories, business blogs, and even books – AI will be perfectly placed to write, report, and create on our behalf really soon.

Why we experiment with AI

Black and white photography experiment with powder

At Zyro, we love to experiment.

We’ve spent years developing tools to help small business owners build their own websites and create their own marketing materials.

At the heart of these tools is our unique artificial intelligence – something we’re always testing, developing, and building upon.

To better understand how AI can improve our products or launch new Zyro services, our team of data scientists are constantly testing its limits and attempting to teach it new skills.

Earlier this year, we launched our first AI festival, successfully training Zyro’s AI technology to write songs in the style of famous musicians, rappers, and rock stars.

Off the back of this experiment, we’ve been able to learn more about the capabilities of our AI, and to consider how its skills could translate to future business projects.

Already we have launched an AI copywriting tool, logo generator, and even a blog post suggestion tool.

As we continue to experiment with the writing capabilities of AI, we’ll look to develop even more of these tools, making it easier than ever for businesses to create and launch their own unique marketing materials.

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Written by

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Martina is an expert in writing about website building and eCommerce, but her real passion is helping others grow their small business online. From solid branding to punchy marketing strategies, you can count on her for the best growth tricks. In her spare time, Martina loves nothing more than a good scoop of ice-cream and a sweaty match of tennis.

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