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"To get anywhere, or even live a long time, a man has to guess, and guess right, over and over again, without enough data for a logical answer."
- Robert Heinlein

Electronic Bard  
  A computing machine that is able to write original poetry.  

In his inimitable way, Trurl does his best to bring his new machine up to scratch as a poet. He "bypassed half the logic circuits and made the emotive more electromotive," "intensified the semantic fields and attached a strength of character component," "installed a philosophical throttle," "jacked the semanticity up all the way, plugged in an alternating ryhme generator," and finally, in a burst of inspiration, he tossed out all the logic circuits and replaced them with "self-regulating egocentripital narcissistors."

Trurl let the machine warm up first, kept the power low, ran up the metal stairs several times to take readings ) the machine was like the engine of a giant steamer, galleried, with rows of rivets, dials and valves on every tier) - till, finally satisfied all the decimal places were where they ought to be, he said yes, it was ready now...

Now that the potentiometers indicated the machine's lyrical capacitance was charged to the maximum, and Trurl, so nerous his hands were shaking, threw the master switch. A voice, slightly husky but remarkably vibrant and bewitching, said:

"Phlogisticosh. Rhomothriglyph. Floof."

"Am I missing something?" said Klapaucius, calmly watching a panic-stricken Trurl struggling at the controls... Trurl stuck his head out of a trapdoor on the third story and yelled, "Now try it!"

The electronic bard shuddered from stem to stern...

From The Cyberiad: Fables for the Cybernetic Age, by Stanislaw Lem.
Published by Unknown in 1965
Additional resources -

For more on this topic, take a look at the entry for the verse transcriber from J.G. Ballard's short story collection The Vermillion Sands.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from The Cyberiad: Fables for the Cybernetic Age
  More Ideas and Technology by Stanislaw Lem
  Tech news articles related to The Cyberiad: Fables for the Cybernetic Age
  Tech news articles related to works by Stanislaw Lem

Electronic Bard-related news articles:
  - The Infinite Adventure Machine Generates Fairy Tale Plots
  - 'STANDUP' Computer Comedian
  - The Poet Is A Computer

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