The main feature of this little volume of poems is that it was written by a computer. The result, we would like to stress, is not the random assemblage of words that you may have come to expect from computer-generated poetry. The writing process involved a state-of-the-art technique in computational linguistics, as used by researchers at the University of Cambridge, UK, where the book originated. The aim of this technique, known as the ‘distributional’ approach to semantics, is to discover the meaning of words by looking at how people use them. So as you read discourse.cpp, you will get a snapshot of what people at the beginning of the third millennium think is characteristic of concepts like love, pride and politics. Prepare to be surprised!

Publication date: April 2011. 52pp

ISBN 978-3-00-033516-7