Google’s ‘Verse by Verse’ AI can help you write in the style of famous poets

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If you’ve ever fancied yourself as a poet but don’t quite have the lyrical and rhythmic skills one might require, Google’s Verse by Verse tool can help you to craft the most delectable verse. The company’s latest experiment with AI-driven poetry offers suggestions in the style of America’s most renowned wordsmiths.

You can select up to three poets for inspiration, including the likes of Emily Dickinson, Walt Whitman and Edgar Allen Poe. Once you’ve made your choices and picked a structure for your poem, the tool will ask you to compose your first line of verse. The AI will then suggest some more options.

Verse by Verse won’t lock you into using those suggestions. You can ditch or tweak them, or accept them as is. The tool is supposed to inspire you, not generate an entire poem on your behalf — though you can more or less do that too. Once you have perfected a stanza, you can add more of them to your future masterpiece.

To build the tool, Google engineers fed the system “a large collection of classic poetry.” They then used each poet’s own work to fine tune the AI models in an attempt to ape their writing styles. They also wanted the AI to make relevant suggestions, so, according to engineer Dave Uthus, “the system was trained to have a general semantic understanding of what lines of verse would best follow a previous line of verse. So even if you write on topics not commonly seen in classic poetry, the system will try its best to make suggestions that are relevant.”

Verse by Verse does a solid job of adapting the style of classic poets to help you shape your stanzas, even if some of its suggestions don’t quite work. Here’s hoping Google eventually builds a version based on the work of rappers, our best-known modern poets, as well.

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