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  1. Latin Verse Machine (The Eureka)

    The Latin Verse Machine is the first known automated text generator. It was built between 1830 and 1843 by John Clark, a printer from Bridgwater in England who also invented the airbed. Clark exhibited the machine at the Egyptian Hall in Piccadilly in 1845.

    The Latin Verse Machine automated a verse-generation system from 1677. 

    Jill Walker Rettberg - 15.07.2023 - 10:41

  2. Mike Sharples

    British academic who has worked on educational technology, artificial intelligence and generative literature.

    Jill Walker Rettberg - 15.07.2023 - 10:49

  3. IEEE Annals of the History of Computing

    IEEE Annals of the History of Computing

    Jill Walker Rettberg - 15.07.2023 - 10:53

  4. John Clark’s Latin Verse Machine: 19th Century Computational Creativity

    John Clark was inventor of the Eureka machine to generate hexameter Latin verse. He labored for 13 years from 1832 to implement the device that could compose at random over 26 million different lines of well-formed verse. This article proposes that Clark should be regarded as an early cognitive scientist. Clark described his machine as an illustration of a theory of “kaleidoscopic evolution” whereby the Latin verse is “conceived in the mind of the machine” then mechanically produced and displayed. We describe the background to automated generation of verse, the design and mechanics of Eureka, its reception in London in 1845 and its place in the history of language generation by machine. The article interprets Clark's theory of kaleidoscopic evolution in terms of modern cognitive science. It suggests that Clark has not been given the recognition he deserves as a pioneer of computational creativity.

    Jill Walker Rettberg - 15.07.2023 - 10:54

  5. Story machines: how computers have become creative writers

    Story machines: how computers have become creative writers

    Jill Walker Rettberg - 15.07.2023 - 11:01

  6. The General History and Description of a Machine for Composing Hexameter Latin Verses

    This 22 page pamphlet is John Clark's description of his Latin Verse Machine, which he began building in 1830, and completed in 1843. It was exhibited at the Egyptian Hall in Piccadilly, London in 1845. 

    The pamphlet includes a list of automatons that inspired the project, discusses the "kaleidoscopic" system that generates the verses in the Latin Verse Machine, and explains how the machine works.

    The pamphlet doesn't directly cite the 1677 "Artificial Versifying, or the Schoolboys Recreation, A New Way to Make Latin Verses", but the machine is based on this text.

    A few original print copies of the pamphlet are held by the Alfred Gillett Trust in Somerset, UK. As of 2023 the pamphlet is not available online.

    Jill Walker Rettberg - 15.07.2023 - 11:23

  7. Jason David Hall

    Jason David Hall

    Jill Walker Rettberg - 15.07.2023 - 11:28

  8. Nineteenth Century Literature

    Nineteenth Century Literature

    Jill Walker Rettberg - 15.07.2023 - 12:10

  9. Popular Prosody: Spectacle and the Politics of Victorian Versification

    Paper discussing John Clark's Latin Verse Machine (1843) and the effect of this kind of technology on popular understandings of prosody.

    Jill Walker Rettberg - 15.07.2023 - 13:52

  10. Alfred Gillett Trust

    The Alfred Gillett Trust primarily holds materials related to the company now known world-wide as Clarks Shoes, such as company records and designs for shoes. It also holds John Clark's Latin Verse Machine (1830-1843) and documents related to it, and it is for this reason the trust is of interest to the field of electronic literature. 

    Jill Walker Rettberg - 15.07.2023 - 16:37