Monday, April 15, 2013

News Haiku by The New York Times

Do you read The New York Times regularly? What about their new haiku?

The New York Times started a Tumblr blog for their haiku. These three-line poems are found on the newspaper's home page with the help of an algorithm. Jacob Harris, the senior software architect at The New York Times, describes the project:

"[The algorithm] periodically checks the New York Times home page for newly published articles. Then it scans each sentence looking for potential haikus by using an electronic dictionary containing syllable counts. We started with a basic rhyming lexicon, but over time we've added syllable counts for words like 'Rihanna' or 'terroir' to keep pace with the broad vocabulary of The Times."

"Not every haiku our computer finds is a good one. The algorithm discards some potential poems if they are awkwardly constructed and it does not scan articles covering sensitive topics. Furthermore, the machine has no aesthetic sense. It can't distinguish between an elegant verse and a plodding one. But, when it does stumble across something beautiful or funny or just a gem of a haiku, human journalists select it and post it on this blog."

Read more at The Times haiku blog!

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