Easy Accomplishments (2021)

Merzmensch explores the perspectives and boundaries of Creative Artificial Intelligence.

In one of the manifold artistic approaches, he trained a Natural Language Processing model GPT-2 on diverse literary magazines from Historian Avantgarde, Dadadaist, and Fluxus times, mixed with English poetry of XIIth-XIXth centuries and scientific essays on culture. Even if the successor GPT-3 is trained on an impressive corpus of human cultural heritage and is capable of more literary quality, its predecessor GPT-2 is able to be trained on particular datasets and to create new visions and perspectives. Poststructuralists Kristeva and Barthes would embrace this older model for re-discovering an author and re-writing of intertextuality theory.

For Merzmensch, GPT-2 delivered series of highly poetic texts, slightly absurd and surreal, dream-alike. These are machine hallucinations.

"Easy Accomplishments" is one such poem, written and performed by the machine, still with AI-driven forces: the music, the voices, and visuals are all created with various AI-models.

Here is the poem:


I am about to retire,
Melancholy is my solitary theme.

My last journal
—and some years to come
—is hollered in this vein,

One last plea,
And then—for there is no more time!

I must compose in this strange land,
One last essay, and pen a letter to my wife.
No longer the tongue of my woe,
Can be,
But the hand of a poet,

Citing triumphs past,
and promises to come!


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