New Essay in LA Review of Books: The Artifice of AI

I just published a feature essay in Los Angeles Review of Books: “The Artifice of AI: Why Machine-Generated Text Seems So Fake.” It’s about how we came to regard machine-generated writing as “fake,” going back to Artificial Versifying, a poetry generating algorithm from the 1670s. (See also my online simulation of this method!)

ChatGPT Claims to Square the Circle

This is a transcript of a conversation I had with ChatGPT in which it claimed to have squared the circle. The bot persisted in asserting that a square with side length r has the same area as a circle of radius r, even as it recognized that the areas differ by a factor of π; yet … Read more

Some GPT-3 Generated “Sonnets”

As an experiment, I asked the GPT-3 “text-davinci-003” model to write 20 Shakespearean sonnets on different topics. I’m interested in this because I’ve done some prior work on getting text generators to rhyme, and I wanted to see how well this new model can do. The results (most of which not actually sonnets) are below; … Read more

New article in The Wordsworth Circle

My latest article is now online. Binder, Jeffrey M. “The Datafication of Culture: Romanticism and AI-Generated Poetry.” The Wordsworth Circle 53, no. 3 (Summer 2022): 354-73. This article discusses a machine-generated imitation of William Wordsworth’s poem Tintern Abbey, which I posted here.

A Machine-Generated “Tintern Abbey”

The following is a poem generated by GPT-3. The text in bold is the prompt that I entered; the rest was generated by a machine. I discuss this text in my article “The Datafication of Culture: Romanticism and AI-Generated Poetry.”   Tintern Abbey   By Tantalus Greenville   Confused, distracted—still the feverish thirst For Nature … Read more

New article in Critical Inquiry

My first publication based on my history of computation project is finally out today. Binder, Jeffrey M. “Romantic Disciplinarity and the Rise of the Algorithm.” Critical Inquiry 46, no. 4 (Summer 2020): 813-834. Abstract: Scholars in both digital humanities and media studies have noted an apparent disconnect between computation and the interpretive methods of the humanities. Alan … Read more

Artificial Versifying

In his 1677 book Artificial Versifying, the English mathematician John Peter describes a simple procedure that can be used “to make almost Six hundred thousand different Latine Verses.” By drawing letters from a set of tables in a certain pattern, one can produce grammatically and metrically correct verses whether one understands Latin or not. This … Read more

New article in Media Culture and Society

My latest article is out online today. Binder, Jeffrey M. “The Eighteenth-Century Elocution Movement and Facebook: Reading Emotion Before and After the Subject.” Media Culture and Society. Published online Aug. 18, 2019. Abstract: The rise of social media has recently inspired a renewed debate about the decentering of the subject. Some scholars have responded to … Read more


Way back in 2003, I created Homespring, an absurdist esoteric programming language that has since taken on something of a life of its own. It attracted a bit of attention on the Internet in May, 2018, so I figured I would put up a new page about it. A Homespring program takes the form of … Read more

New article in American Literature

My paper about the Distance Machine is online now. Binder, Jeffrey M. “‘The General Practice of the Nation’: Walt Whitman, Language, and Computerized Search in the Nineteenth-Century Archive.” American Literature 88.3 (September, 2016): 447-75. Abstract: Word-search technologies have played a significant role in literary scholarship for decades, yet they have received little attention from literary theorists. This … Read more