We’ve seen computer vision used to create both trippy remixes of video and music just from looking at pictures, so why not Chinese poetry? That’s precisely what Microsoft researchers have done with the Xiaolce chatbot, applying a computer vision technology similar to what’s used for captioning to writing poetry. Researchers split the neural network in half, with one side acting as poet and the other as judge. It’s up to the judge to decide if the poem is good enough, then humans take a look and agree or disagree, adjusting the networks’ parameters accordingly. Microsoft previously pulled this off with English-language poetry, but Chinese poetry has a completely different set of rules, with hanzi characters being just the start, so this time new parameters had to be set for the bard bot.
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