Alex Leto, Toni Lefton and Tom Williams
Educational Advances in Artificial Intelligence: Model AI Assignments Track
The combination of AI and artistic or literary techniques provides a unique opportunity for students and practitioners from both communities to simultaneously achieve Learning Outcomes from both fields, as well as LOs situated at the intersection of those fields. In this Model AI Assignment, we show students how simple AI techniques can be combined with Found Poetry techniques to create unique poetic works that raise challenging questions regarding the relationship between algorithm and poet, and between technology and society. Specifically, we present an educational activity, suitable for complete AI novices, in which students are (1) provided with code for a Markov Chain based text generation algorithm, (2) instructed in how to create novel blackout poems using the text generated by this algorithm, and (3) asked to reflect on the creative relationship between themselves and the algorithm. Furthermore, we provide supplementary guidelines for adapting this activity to tailor it to different communities and use cases, allowing it to be used with either coders or poets, and as either an outreach activity or a formal class assignment.