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Artificial Intelligence


    Q: Please write me a sonnet on the subject of the --one of the questions from the Turing Test, devised by Alan Turing to discover whether a hidden entity, such as a computer, is able to think Forth Bridge.

 

A: Let us suppose the bridge to be the Fourth

(Not cantilevered above some Scottish firth,

Entraining passengers to Queensferry North),

Successor to First, Second, & Third on Earth.

 

First is what Tristram was so long a-doing;

Second is upgrowing at whatever age;

Third is, of course, the mystery of dying.

So what is Fourth, when do we reach that page?

 

The soft simulacrum in the sealed room

Posts piping secrets through her handy slot;

Unhandy demons, scheming in the gloom,

Wildly mistake the that that is for that that’s not.

 

So long as machines puzzle--and men can be,

So long lives that; that that makes sense to me!



Bridge pose


Previously published in the New English Review in October 2021.

 

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