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Issa-kun, The AI Haiku Poet

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Issa-kun display at Sapporo NoMaps 2018

Issa-kun display at a demo event at Sapporo NoMaps 2018.

Credit: Sapporo AI Lab

Tomohisa Yamashita and his colleagues at the Laboratory of Harmonious Systems Engineering at Hokkaido University received a peculiar challenge in 2017: create an AI that can compose haiku verses. The result is Issa-kun, a haiku generator.

Issa-kun's machine learning language model learns from a set of training data, some taken from haiku of old literary masters.

The researchers were helped by the haiku community. They fed training data from haiku created by contemporary poets, and community participants assessed Issa-kun's verses. The research team evaluated the model and removed unqualified verses.

Yamashita and the team devote their research to AI for the benefit of human happiness. "The combination of human creativity and Issa-kun's ability should make original and good haiku," Yamashita said. "That is the kind of human-AI harmony that we wish to reach."

From Hokkaido University
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