A Quest for Voice in Machine Generated Poetry

, updated on
15 July 2021

Presentation by Pablo Gervas, Professor of Computer Science, Universidad Complutense (Madrid)

L’OuPoCo. 'Ouvroir de Poésie Combinatoire' organized by Thierry Poibeau and Valérie Beaudoin - Lattice

The project aims at exploring the links between texts and digital technology with, beyond the purely technical and scientific aspects, the consideration of aesthetic aspects. We will be inspired first of all by Raymond Queneau's book Cent mille milliards de poèmes, published in 1961, which allows to combine verses to compose poems respecting the sonnet form.

Thus, the core of the application will allow to "generate poems" on the fly from known classical poems (Queneau's poems will not be used directly, as they are still protected by copyright). A set of constraints will have to be put in place to ensure that the rhyme structure is respected in the final result. An extension of the application could allow to automatically translate these poems into other languages and eventually to come back (still automatically) to French, which could lead to comic, absurd or surrealist poems.

The project will thus allow to question the notion of translation, its automation and more generally the links between arts and sciences.