Interactive installation, Real-time, 2016

Can computers independently create a masterpiece?

Poetry³ is a computer program developed by Ren Yuan to explore this question. Maybe this can be achieved in a certain time through a great amount of random generation. However, it is far from something easy and only has a very small chance of happening. Moreover, whether a masterpiece is created or not needs to be decided by an aesthetic subject. If computers have aesthetic awareness, it is certainly different from that of human being. Therefore, the aesthetic judgment here in this question should be decided by human being. Over the generation process, human’s aesthetics stimulates the computer to generate works more and more close to a masterpiece. The program developed by Ren Yuan is based on genetic algorithm. It regards poetry as a population. The poems more close to people’s aesthetics in the population have a higher probability of passing their genes to the next generations. Meanwhile, mutation ensures the diversity of individuals. After several generations of evolution, the masterpiece may appear.

When Poetry³ performs the initiation, it will automatically generate eight poems based on computer codes (using all the language symbols in the world). At the same time, it will create the audio and visual according to the word codes of each poem. The program will execute the genetic algorithm at an interval of ten minutes and generate eight new poems. The user can select his favorite poems through the interface, which will add the fitness of the poems. The higher the fitness is, the bigger possibility of crossover the poem has. In addition, the crossover rate and mutation rate are influenced by the actual temperature and PM2.5.

The reason for using the cube of poetry to name this program is that it also generates audio and visual aside from the poems itself according to the codes of poems. Therefore, users can appreciate the poems beyond the word dimension, but also along the audio and visual scale.