everlasting, ubiquitous system of hexagonal galleries is a poem written with the help of an AI. Each strophe is a paraphrase of the poem’s title, which in turn comes from Jorge Luis Borges' short story The Library of Babel (1941), revolving around a collection of books containing everything that could ever be written.

Like Borges’ fictional library, the computer-generated poem is in one sense complete. Its strophes are formed by letting BERT, a language model trained on the task of filling gaps in text, progressively replace each part in the original phrase with something else that fits in the context. Depending on the order in which parts are substituted, different outcomes emanate; there are 3,628,800 different possibilities, and the poem iterates them all.

Credits and acknowledgements

Concept and implementation: Alex Berman

Additional design: Filip Strebeyko

Pre-trained BERT model provided by Huggingface