I have a short prose piece – Beetles – in this week’s International Times. It’s vaguely coronavirus related. There’s also a nice prose poem by Mike Ferguson in this issue.
I’ve had three new prose poems published on Stride in the last few days. Here’s one of them. Follow the link above to view the other two.
The chat bot seemed to work by drawing me into conversation with questions like ‘so what’s new?’ and ‘tell me something interesting’, and then building a memory of my replies so that over time it could anticipate my interests and prejudices, the questions becoming modified to include more personal references, phrases such as ‘you’re right there’ and ‘exactly my view’ punctuating the conversation. At times Druga, that was name she used, even indulged in a little speculation herself. At first this annoyed me and I began expressing opinions opposite to those I had previously given, even contradicting myself within the same few sentences. Rather than simply mimic my erratic flights of whimsy, Druga started to challenge me with statements like: ‘That isn’t what you said a few moments ago.’ She seemed programmed to move to a more complex level of conversation depending on the behaviour of her interlocutor, the way certain tests get harder if you answer the questions easily and quickly. I tried reading passages of Kant to her, asking her opinion and to my surprise found her answers perceptive and thought provoking. ‘You see,’ she told me. ‘I’m here for you.’