Poem - On the Shore - Jeff vs Artificial Intelligence

Yesterday, while in an online conference put on by a private equity firm about remote work, I pulled up a notepad on the computer and put down a poem.

The basic thought process was: water, waves, emotions. This is what grew out of it.


Up and down,
waves upon waves,
water flows and splashes,
like emotions grow,
and splash.

A wave hits a rock,
water splatters and sprays,
love hits a betrayal,
hate splatters and sprays.

Sand castle built on the shore,
a wave approaches,
water undermines the foundation,
approaching resentment,
erodes our foundation,
the top falls into the bottom.

Bare feet stand on the shore,
water surrounds and retreats,
cyclical experience,
solidifies where we stand,
difficult to take a step.

Gaze along the way,
where sand and water meet,
each in a different phase,
water in,
water out,
emotion up,
emotion down,
life flows.


I've been keeping track of the recent advances in artificial intelligence. I've played with computer programs that have attempted to replicate natural human language for years. ChatGPT is a different type of beast. This level of AI is going to significantly change humanity. For better or for worse is largely irrelevant, for change is the answer, the bad part comes built into the humans. Computers are now better at almost every task than the average human, and often better than the best humans. Nevertheless, I decided to test it again. I told it to, "Write a poem about sand and water at the beach shore and emotions." This is what it generated.


Sand and water at the beach shore,
A sight that brings emotions to the fore,
The waves crashing, the sand so pure,
A scene that's hard to ignore.

The water glimmers in the sun,
The sand, golden and warm to run,
As the ocean and land become one,
The heart feels a sense of fun.

Memories of laughter and play,
Of times spent in the sun all day,
The beach is where hearts come to stay,
And let all their worries slip away.

But sometimes, the water is rough,
And the sand can be tough,
As the emotions become gruff,
And the heart feels like enough is enough.

The waves crash harder, the sand stings,
The heart feels the pain that it brings,
Yet the ocean always keeps singing,
A reminder that hope still clings.

Sand and water at the beach shore,
A place where emotions can soar,
Whether happy, sad, or wanting more,
The beach is where the heart finds its core.


It's hard to say which is better. It's hard to say which was written by a human and which by a computer. Then I decided to see if it could improve my version. So I said, "I'm going to paste a poem, make it better:" I pasted my version and it generated this.


Up and down the waves do roll,
An endless dance that takes its toll,
Water ebbs and flows in kind,
Like the surging of our mind.

A wave collides against a rock,
As emotions hit and take their knock,
Love and hate doth rise and fall,
As we struggle with it all.

On the shore a sandcastle stands,
A fragile thing made by our hands,
A wave approaches with its might,
And undermines it out of sight.

Our foundation thus erodes,
As resentment creeps and corrodes,
And what was once so strong and true,
Falls apart before our view.

Bare feet stand upon the shore,
As water laps and then withdraws,
A cyclical experience we know,
That solidifies where we go.

Our gaze follows where sand meets sea,
Two different phases that we see,
Water in, water out,
Emotions rise and fall about.

And so it is, life flows,
Like the sand and water's throes,
Up and down, emotion high,
And then recedes, as time goes by.


And... the computer version is better. Then I put my version into an artificial intelligence program that creates art called Midjourney. It made a set of pictures but I didn't quite like the style, so I had it regenerate a new set of pictures from the same poem, and that's the set of pictures that are part of this article. Humans have created a technology that I think will be more impactful than the steam engine or electrical generator, it's at the level of the invention of spoken language, and written language, it changes how humans interact with our own thinking and imagining. Human society will restructure because of it.



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