Haikus were a big thing at Automattic. I got to liking them and enjoyed reading their bits of wisdom throughout the internets. These quick little quips of text could spark a whole rabbit hole of thought. And as many computational designers have done before me, I set out to build my own haiku generator.
See the Pen Click for a haiku by Mapk (@mapk) on CodePen.
The first thing that I came upon was a niche of AI writing and computational literature. In fact, in 2016, there was a case in which an AI written novel almost won a literary award. I was hooked. Searching for others in this arena was not difficult. I came across Allison Parrish’s site and explored all those nuggets of gold. After reading quit a bit, I found Rita.
I am an avid fan of p5.js and fortunately for me, I saw some documentation on how to sync up my p5 canvas with Rita. With that bit of help, I was able to get up and running.
While I could get the words to display on the screen, I needed to coerce the sentence syntax into something readable. This required a few edits of inserted text to make the haiku jive smoothly. It ended up looking something like this.
the _____ _____ _____ in the _____ _____ I _____ ______
The underlined spaces were where Rita would fill in the appropriately syllabized words.
The project was enjoyable, and I would like to create further works using computational text. I am sure something like this can lead to a published novel. But for that, I will need to learn more about analyzing text and enforcing proper grammar and literary devices for such an endeavor.
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