Dartmouth College Neukom Institute Turing Tests in Creativity


The Neukom Institute for Computational Science at Dartmouth College is pleased to announce the first annual Neukom Institute Prizes in Computational Arts. These competitions aim to inspire innovations in computational methods that generate artistic products, such as literary, musical, and visual art.

In the 2015-2016 academic year, the Neukom Institute will run three different competitions:




PoetiX is a completion in computer-generated sonnet writing. The rules for this competition are as above, but for sonnets. While, there are many forms of sonnet, for the purposes of the prize we are considering only “traditional” sonnets: fourteen line poems, in iambic pentameter, in either “Shakesperean” or “Petrarchan” form. The former is further characterized by an “abab cdcd efef gg” rhyme scheme, and the latter as an octet of rhyme scheme “abba abba” followed by a sestet with no fixed form. To read more about the sonnet form, see:


and of course



  1. A contemporary computer should be able to run the code and generate a sonnet within 24 hours using less than 8G of RAM.
  2. The algorithm/software should respond to a noun or noun phrase “prompt” (e.g., “hat”, “car keys”, “wedding”, “sorrow”, “violin case”) and be capable of producing an effectively unlimited number of original sonnets.
  3. Submissions must include source code, and programs must be capable of generating distinct sonnets with high probability.


  1. The PoetiX Sonnet Turing Test: After an initial screening, the top entrants will have their sonnets mixed in with a collection of human generated sonnets. To keep with the spirit of a Turing Test, the computer-generated sonnets that are included will be generated by two noun prompts per algorithm and not pre-screened before inclusion. Two collections of mixed human- and computer-generated sonnets will be read separately by two panels, each with three judges. The judges will be asked to rate the sonnets as either human- or computer-generated. If a computer-generated sonnet is scored as human by a majority of the judges on its panel, the creators will win a $5000 prize. At most one prize will be awarded to any competitor.
  2. The PoetiX Sonnet Competition: A first prize of $3000 will be awarded to the team that enters the “best” sonnet generating software. Two second prizes of $1000 will be given to the runner-ups. Computer-generated submissions are judged against each other according to criteria used by professional sonnet writers (e.g., instructions given to judges of the "Best American Short Stories" collection). Judging criteria will also include an evaluation of the submitted algorithm and code.
  3. Winners will be announced in April, 2016. Details TBA.

Note: Contestants might be interested in the lessons and resources gathered by the NaNoGenMo 2014 event.


Judges: Will be announced in September - stay tuned!

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The Turing Tests in Creativity are a project of The Neukom Institute for Computational Science at Dartmouth College.
For more information contact turingtests@math.dartmouth.edu.