The Poetic Puzzle: Maarten Inghels and the AI poetry generator

1 Nov 2023

In his captivating essay, Maarten Inghels explores whether artificial intelligence can truly create poetry that resonates and engages people. Through his collaboration with our Poem Booth, Inghels reflects on his initial skepticism and his subsequent experiences in teaching the AI to mimic his poetic style. He offers a candid portrayal of the challenges and unexpected outcomes of blending poetry with AI technology.

Inghels describes his interaction with our collaboration and expresses his doubts about whether an AI could effectively emulate his poetic voice. Despite these doubts, he embarked on this journey, feeding the AI system with guidelines to produce poetry that deviates from traditional structures, preferring alliteration, assonance, and rich imagery without relying on end rhyme. He amusingly notes that the AI was still prone to producing verses that often felt more like rhymed clichés or simplistic advice rather than profound poetry:

"Since ChatGPT is a very poor listener, the initial results almost all have more than four lines. But the machine can alliterate like the best of them."

One of the most striking aspects of Inghels's experiment was the AI's ability to create metaphors and images that, while sometimes nonsensical, occasionally reached a surprising depth, such as "eyes as big as sausage rolls" or "a camel playing the piano." These quirky images underscore the potential of AI to produce creatively unexpected and evocative language, even if it doesn't always hit the emotional or thematic mark.

Inghels's story is both a reflection on the potential and limitations of AI in poetry. He suggests that while AI can generate poetry that is new and inventive, it lacks the intrinsic human touch that often gives poetry its resonance and depth. His experience illustrates an ongoing exploration of how AI can be used as a tool for creativity, inspiring human poets rather than replacing them.

The essay is not just a critique but also a journey into the possibilities of human-AI collaboration in artistic creation. For those intrigued by the evolving relationship between technology and art, Inghels’s full reflections can be found in his detailed discussion (in Dutch) at this link.


KvK 80932932

BTW NL861856703B01


Gedempt Hamerkanaal 111

1021 KP Amsterdam


Google maps

Administrative address

Krugerplein 4-1

1091 KX Amsterdam




Follow us on social media