Etude 1
Leyth Toubassy
January 20th, 2023
Music 356 / CS470, Stanford University

Etude 1 - Poets of Sound and Time
Last week I was talking in class about how AI was just more improved math. I still fundamentally believe (for now) that that's all AI is, just fancy math that can do fancier things, but this assingment definitley had me questioning that a bit. As I was messing around and testing out my first (more traditional) poem, poem 1, I started putting in more complex, and even "heavier" prompts. I found that extremely negative events or words ended up working a lot better in the poems and sometimes I would read them and it really sometimes feels like something alive is trying it's best to communicate. Now of course it's basically just random words, but something about the way the words were connected felt very human, it felt like connections that a computer shouldn't be able to understand. As I'm spiraling here, I'm remembering that the computer fundamentally doesn't understand what it's saying, it doesn't understand the connections themselves all it can do is recognize that they exist. This sort of revelation really helped me understand AI as a whole better. AI is extremely adept at observation and surface level replication, but at the end of the day, all it can analyze is correlation not causation. That is to say, it can find a correlation between war and death, it can find some relationship between the usage of both words, but that (at least for now), it cannot comprehend the fact that war is the cause of death from pure observation.

Here's my first poem, controlled spiralling. There's no actual spirals, the poem just kind of lets the AI extend off a word but after each line it resets to the prompt word. The name was inspired by me spiraling during the above reflection.
Controlled Spiralling
Here's the second one, ping pong. The word hits between good and bad and evolves as it go, it gets stuck more than I'd like in weird little loops but I tried to mitigate it by throwing in some entropy when the words get too short.
Ping Pong