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The Answer

01/13/04 | by [mail] | Categories: computer/tech

I worded the question very carefully so there would be no correct answer. I asked for the name of a person, but the poem was written by a computer program called Ray Kurzweil's Cybernetic Poet. Follow the link to see more poems by the program, and you can download the free version to run on your own computer. I tried it and couldn't get it to run. The site says it only works on Win95 and 98, which sounds pretty lame. So there's no right answer to my question and there's no certificates to be given out. I would like to congratulate, however, Dave and Brandon for finding out where the poem come from (and yes, google searches were allowed). Sorry to disappoint, but I'll give you something even better than free music: knowledge (ok, free music probably is better, so try this link).

I learned about the poetry writing program in a book I'm reading, The Age of Spiritual Machines by Ray Kurzweil. The author was been a pioneer in the tech industry. He worked on things like the CCD flat-bed scanner, text recognition software, speech recognition software, music synthesizers (the Kurzweil is still a popular brand) and in 1988, he predicted that a computer would defeat a world chess champion in 1998, he was one year off. So this guy is pretty smart. The book I'm reading now contains predictions for the next 50 years. It's very interesting, and occasionally scary. Click here to learn more and read some more recent articles from Kurzweil.


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