The AI Singer

Alexander Tzonis (1990). Hermes and the Golden Thinking Machine, Cambridge, MA: Bradford. (p. 149-150)


Fox, goose, farmer, and grain
Desperately await, to cross a river,
A tiny boat which only two can contain:
The sole means for passing they consider.

If alone, with no farmer's restraint,
The fox eats the goose, and the goose the grain.
He must invent an intelligent scheme
For safely shipping the rapacious team.
He has to search for the big constraints
That the problem undoubtedly self-contains.
To do this smartly, the farmer thinks,
I must represent the problem through nodes and links.

Links describe the allowable crossing,
Nodes, and arrangement that he'll be bossing.
A fox, a goose, a farmer, and some grain,
To one solution committed remain.

Farmer and boat, the goose deliver
While fox and grain stand by the river,
Observe with envy the goose, that free-liver.
Farmer, goose, and grain, with patience refrain
And watch the fox alone, the misgiver.
When fox, farmer, and goose their seat obtain,
They look at the grain, their lips acquiver.

Farmer, fox, and grain together remain
On the opposite bank of the river.
"Beautiful boat bring the goose,"they blither.
A fox, a goose, a farmer, some grain
Finally succeed in crossing the river.
Now they are gladly willing to testify
To the great potentials of AI
Singing en masse on a cantilever.

Swift solutions you only elicit
If you consider what remains implicit.
And alternately cast, novel descriptions
Are totally outlawed by strong circumscriptions.

The plot is ending, as it began.
They all ate each other, in spite of the plan.
But who is the farmer, the fox, and the grain
Is hardly for me to you to explain. __________________________________________________________________