Finding the poet in the machine: AI-generated haiku

Basho in the machine
Aesthetic evaluation of AI-generated versus human haiku poetry points to the potential for human-AI collaboration in literary art. Credit: KyotoU/Jake Tobiyama

Can artificial intelligence write better poetry than humans?

The gap between creativity and seems to be narrowing. Previous studies have compared AI-generated versus human-written poems and whether people can distinguish between them.

Now, a study led by Yoshiyuki Ueda at Kyoto University Institute for the Future of Human and Society, has shown AI's potential in creating literary art such as haiku—the shortest poetic form in the world—rivaling that of humans without human help.

Ueda's team compared AI-generated haiku without , also known as "human out of the loop," or HOTL, with a contrasting method known as "human in the loop," or HITL.

The project involved 385 participants, each of whom evaluated 40 haiku poems—20 each of HITL and HOTL—plus 40 composed entirely by professional haiku writers.

"It was interesting that the evaluators found it challenging to distinguish between the haiku penned by humans and those generated by AI," remarks Ueda.

From the results, HITL haiku received the most praise for their poetic qualities, whereas HOTL and human-only verses had similar scores.

"In addition, a phenomenon called algorithm aversion was observed among our evaluators. They were supposed to be unbiased but instead became influenced by a kind of reverse psychology," explains the author.

"In other words, they tended to unconsciously give lower scores to those they felt were AI-generated."

Ueda points out that his research has put a spotlight on algorithm aversion as a new approach to AI art.

"Our results suggest that the ability of AI in the field of haiku creation has taken a leap forward, entering the realm of collaborating with humans to produce more creative works. Realizing the existence of algorithmic aversion will lead people to re-evaluate their appreciation of AI art."

The findings are published in the journal Computers in Human Behavior.

More information: Jimpei Hitsuwari et al, Does human–AI collaboration lead to more creative art? Aesthetic evaluation of human-made and AI-generated haiku poetry, Computers in Human Behavior (2022). DOI: 10.1016/j.chb.2022.107502

Journal information: Computers in Human Behavior
Provided by Kyoto University
Citation: Finding the poet in the machine: AI-generated haiku (2022, December 1) retrieved 15 June 2024 from
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