Humans Better than Robots

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On a weekly basis, the mainstream media informs us that robots are becoming superior to humans – that robots can out-think, out-read, out-work, out-play (at chess), and even out-fuck ordinary men and women.

I propose a new test, one less dependent on merely following the digital protocols of ones and zeros: the capacity to write truly creative, inspirational poetry.

John Clare (13 July 1793 – 20 May 1864) was an uneducated field hand, the “peasant poet,” who grew up in poverty, at the very bottom of the English class system.

Nevertheless, John Clare’s poetry reflects upon existence. To date, no robot has been able to accomplish anything remotely similar. No robot has come even close to reaching the standard of what it means to be human.

Just 18 lines of poetry here, containing a cosmos of experience.

 

I Am!   BY JOHN CLARE

I am—yet what I am none cares or knows;

My friends forsake me like a memory lost:

I am the self-consumer of my woes—

They rise and vanish in oblivious host,

Like shadows in love’s frenzied stifled throes

And yet I am, and live—like vapours tossed

 

Into the nothingness of scorn and noise,

Into the living sea of waking dreams,

Where there is neither sense of life or joys,

But the vast shipwreck of my life’s esteems;

Even the dearest that I loved the best

Are strange—nay, rather, stranger than the rest.

 

I long for scenes where man hath never trod

A place where woman never smiled or wept

There to abide with my Creator, God,

And sleep as I in childhood sweetly slept,

Untroubling and untroubled where I lie

The grass below—above the vaulted sky.

 

https://johnclaresociety.wordpress.com/

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