GARTNER, INC. :“By 2018, 20% of business content will be authored by machines.” We: “So is poetry!”

What it does

Given any topic supplied by the user, this skill composes a new, custom poem about the topic.

How it was built

Our backend system is based on the paper “Generating Topical Poetry; Marjan Ghazvininejad, Xing Shi, Yejin Choi, and Kevin Knight; EMNLP 2016”. We implement an API that accepts any topic phrase and returns a new poem composed by computer in real time.

Challenges we ran into

  • Designing the utterance user interface for Alexa.
  • Accelerating our backend so that it can generate a four-line poem within 1 seconds.
  • Tune the hyper parameters with human in the loop.
  • Coming up with a skill name which is easily recognizable for Alexa.

Accomplishments that we are proud of

  • Speed up the whole pipeline using GPU (30s to 1s for generating a 4-line poetry - alexa motivated this speedup)
  • Find a better hyper parameter by collecting a large amount of feedback from Amazon Mechanical Turk.

What we learned

  • Build a closed pipeline using : Amazon Web Services + Amazon Mechanical Turk + Amazon Alexa Skill.
  • CUDA GPU acceleration technicals.

What's next for Custom Poetry

  • Maybe short stories on topics
  • Maybe poems for other languages like Spanish.
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