The Algoroad Not Taken

What is the most quoted work of American poetry? Robert Frost’s “The Road Not Taken.” And it turns out the road most taken leads to misreading the poem, and thus the poem’s final three lines have been offered up daily, somewhere, as a cosmic “go get ’em!”

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I--
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

Suuuuuuuuuuuure you did. Do you, Mr. Frost, think I did not read lines nine and ten? Or the first two lines of the final stanza? Ha! You fool.

Yet, does the entire poem entered as a prompt fool the algorithms as well? Will the AI art generators return beauty and hope instead of self-deception and aggrandizement?


Robert Frost 1, Midjourney 0
Robert Frost 1, Stable Diffusion 0
Robert Frost 1, Dall-E 0

Of course, these are the images that should be returned. Fortunately, or at least so far, you need a human to provide an “accurate” prompt to give you a better thematic rendering of the poem. Say, “in the anthropocene there are no roads to be less traveled by.”

Rybak + Midjourney 1, Robert Frost 0

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