Modern Society 2023: A collection of poems written and illustrated by AI

Tristrum Tuttle
MLearning.ai
Published in
6 min readNov 29, 2023

--

An AI generated Picasso painting titled “The Internet”

Last year, I used GPT-3 and DALL-E 2 to write and illustrate a collection of poems. One year later, we now have access to GPT-4 and DALL-E 3 (through Bing Image Creator), and I’m curious to see how far the technology has come. This is Modern Society 2023.

Inspired by Shel Silverstein
  • GPT-4: “Write a short 1–5 paragraph poem about Modern Society in the style of Shel Silverstein. Use the style and form of a Shel Silverstein poem:”
  • DALL-E 3: “A lady with an iPod and a gentleman with a peacock-feathered tie and they text and tweet all day, in the style of a Shel Silverstein black and white illustration”
Inspired by Dr. Seuss
  • GPT-4: “Complete the short poem about Modern Society in the style of a Dr. Seuss poem. Mimic a Dr. Seuss poem’s meter, rhyme scheme, rhythm, and form: I do not like”
  • DALL-E 3: “Modern Society, in the style of a Dr. Seuss drawing:”
Inspired by Tagore
  • GPT-4: “Complete the single paragraph poem about Modern Society in the style of a poem by poet Tagore. Mimic Tagore’s meter, rhyme scheme, rhythm, and form: \n The modern society is so well regulated”
  • DALL-E 3: “Modern Society, in the style of a painting by Indian painter Tagore:”

GPT-4 also provided this helpful note after generating the poem:

While Rabindranath Tagore’s works ranged in style, the above poem is an attempt to capture a reflective and critical tone about modernity which can be found in some of his poetry. Tagore’s English writing generally didn’t adhere to strict meter and rhyme schemes as found in traditional Western poetry, but this poem uses a consistent meter and a loose rhyme scheme to give a structured feeling, reflecting the regulated aspect of modern society.

Inspired by haiku / Ukiyo-e Art
  • GPT-4: “Complete the haiku about Modern Society in the style of a haiku: \n People glued to screens”
  • DALL-E 3: “An artwork titled Modern Society, in the style of Ukiyo-e”
Inspired by Edward Gorey
  • GPT-4: “Complete the short limerick about Modern Society in the style of a limerick by poet Edward Gorey. \n There once was a world so advanced”
  • DALL-E 3: “A drawing titled Modern Society, in the style of Edward Gorey”
Inspired by Rupi Kaur
  • GPT-4: “Complete the short poem about Modern Society, in the style of a poem by poet Rupi Kaur. Mimic Rupi Kaur’s style and free form from “Milk and Honey”. Her work is written exclusively in lowercase, using only the period as a form of punctuation: \n We are a generation”
  • DALL-E 3: “Modern Society, a Rupi Kaur black and white one line drawing”
Inspired by Dante Alighieri / Giotto Painting
  • GPT-4: “Complete the short sonnet about Modern Society, in the style of a sonnet by poet Dante Alighieri. Dante was fond of “terza rima” technique, which consists of interlocking three-line rhymes. These follow the scheme: ABA BCB CDC DED, where A rhymes with A, B rhymes with B, and so on.\n In our modern world, so full of strife”
  • DALL-E 3: “A painting of love in modern society, in the style of Italian painter Giotto”
Inspired by Hafez / Persian miniature
  • GPT-4: “Complete the short 2–5 paragraph ghazal about Modern Society, in the style and form of a poem by Persian lyric poet Hafez: \n The world is a rose, and we its thorns.”
  • DALL-E 3: ““the world is a rose”, in the style of a Persian miniature”
Inspired by Walt Whitman / Thomas Cole painting
  • GPT-4: “Complete the short, 3–5 paragraph free verse poem about Modern Society by Walt Whitman, using the style and form of a Walt Whitman free verse poem: \n We are large, we contain multitudes”
  • DALL-E 3: “A modern city, in the style of a Thomas Cole landscape painting”
Inspired by Langston Hughes / Aaron Douglas painting
  • GPT-4: “Complete the short 1–5 paragraph poem about Modern Society by Langston Hughes, using the meter, rhyme scheme, rhythm, and form of a Langston Hughes poem: \n I, too, am America”
  • DALL-E 3: “Modern society, in the style of Harlem Renaissance painter Aaron Douglas”
Inspired by Pablo Neruda / Pablo Picasso painting
  • GPT-4: “A short, very short ode about modern society, in the style of poet Pablo Neruda, titled “Ode to the Internet.” Use the form of a Pablo Neruda ode to common things:”
  • DALL-E 3: “A painting titled “The Internet”, in the style of a Pablo Picasso abstract painting”
Inspired by Sylvia Plath
  • GPT-4: “A very short 1–5 paragraph poem about modern society, in the style of poet Sylvia Plath. Use the form of a Sylvia Plath confessional poem:”
  • DALL-E 3: “A collage by Sylvia Plath titled “Modern Society”, in the style of a Sylvia Plath collage made from newspaper cuttings”

Some thoughts and reflections comparing to last year’s experiment using GPT-3 and DALL-E 2:

  • I started some of the poem prompts this year with the first line of the previous year’s poems (i.e. “I do not like” for Dr. Seuss) to see how the results line up
  • GPT-4 has no trouble rhyming and actually needs to be encouraged not to rhyme (use “free verse”) in certain cases
  • GPT-4 was even able to follow more complicated rhyme schemes, like in the Dante example above.
  • I still don’t always feel like GPT-4 is accurately depicting the selected poet. Many of the poems sounded similar until adding a bit more context to the prompts about the expected form and specific inspirations.
  • DALL-E 3 provides way more detailed pictures than DALL-E 2. I remember being blown away by DALL-E 2, and now I’m being blown away again by DALL-E 3.
  • DALL-E 3 almost always spelled “Modern Society” correctly in pictures where the text appeared.
  • DALL-E 3 still struggles when there are lots of background people and faces to draw.
  • Similar to GPT-4, I didn’t always get the sense that DALL-E 3 was trying to copy the artist, vs. relying on other clues from the prompt. Many attempts were thrown away for not being remotely close to the intended artist, using different color palettes, etc. This was especially true for artists with traditionally less detailed paintings, like Tagore.

--

--