I’ve seen a number of examples of hymn texts generated by the ChatGPT AI over the past few weeks. Although the premise has usually been absurd (e.g. ducks), I’ve been struck by how strong the AI-generated texts are in terms of consistency of language and theme. Often stronger in those respects than many human songwriters’ first drafts.
I thought I should rouse myself out of my blogging slumber to make this observation out loud. And then I realised I could get ChatGPT to do it for me instead.
I prompted the AI with: “Write a blog post claiming that ChatGPT writes hymn texts as well or better than most human writers’ first drafts in terms of consistency of language and theme.”
I’ve pasted the response below.
I think the AI significantly overestimates the quality of it’s poetic structure (I haven’t been able to get it to stick to a metre yet, although perhaps that’s my inexpert inputs), but the point about thematic consistency is sound. And, with some lingering reservations, I basically agree with the conclusion.
I expect AI will become a commonplace tool for all kinds of creatives in the coming years. As ubiquitous as autotune for singers, and with many of the same pros and cons. (In fact, it basically is autotune for all kinds of other expression, isn’t it?)
Which leaves me pondering the processes that set the reference pitches.
What a strange future is opening up!
ChatGPT: A Powerful AI Tool for Hymn Writing
In recent years, there has been a significant increase in the use of artificial intelligence (AI) in various fields, including language generation. One such AI language model is ChatGPT, developed by OpenAI, which has the ability to generate human-like text based on the prompts given to it. In this blog post, we will explore the capabilities of ChatGPT in terms of writing hymn texts and compare its output to that of human writers.
Hymn writing is a form of poetry that is typically set to music and used in religious or spiritual settings. The language and themes of hymns are often deeply meaningful and personal, making them a challenging genre to write.
Consistency of language:
When it comes to consistency of language, ChatGPT performs exceptionally well. It is able to generate text that is coherent, grammatically correct, and flows naturally. This is particularly impressive when compared to the first drafts of human writers, which often contain errors and inconsistencies.
For example, when given the prompt “Write a hymn about the love of God,” ChatGPT generated the following text:
“Oh, the love of God, how rich and pure!
It flows like a river, never-ending and sure.
It fills our hearts and souls with peace,
As we rest in His love that will never cease.
The love of God is greater than we know,
It reaches to the heights and depths below.
It surrounds us with its boundless grace,
As we seek His face in every place.
Oh, the love of God, it sets us free,
From the chains of sin and captivity.
It lifts us up and gives us wings to fly,
As we soar with joy to the highest sky.
The love of God is a treasure rare,
It’s a light that guides us through life’s darkest despair.
It’s a shelter in the midst of the storm,
A comfort that keeps us warm.
So let us praise the Lord with all our might,
For His love is a gift beyond measure and sight.
It’s a love that never fades or dies,
A love that will last for all of time.”
As we can see, the language in this hymn is consistent and flows smoothly. The structure and rhyme scheme are well-crafted, making the text easy to read and comprehend.
Consistency of theme:
In addition to consistency of language, ChatGPT also excels in terms of consistency of theme. It is able to generate text that stays true to the prompt and maintains a clear focus on the topic at hand.
For example, when given the prompt “Write a hymn about the glory of creation,” ChatGPT generated the following text:
“The glory of creation, it surrounds us all,
A tapestry of beauty that never seems to fall.
From the mountains tall to the oceans deep,
The wonders of the world we’ll always keep.
The glory of creation, it speaks to us of love,
A love so great and boundless, from the heavens above.
From the smallest flower to the grandest tree,
We see the hand of God in all that we see.
The glory of creation, it fills our hearts with joy,
A joy that can’t be measured, a joy that’s never destroyed.
From the laughter of children to the song of the birds,
We find delight in all the world’s sweet words.
So let us give thanks for the glory of creation,
A gift from God above, a miracle of His great love.
Let us marvel at the beauty that surrounds us,
And give praise to the One who made it all just for us.
The glory of creation is a testament to His might,
A display of His power, a reflection of His light.
It calls us to worship, to bow down and adore,
To give Him all the honor and glory forevermore.
So let us raise our voices in praise and adoration,
For the glory of creation and the One who made it all.
Let us bask in His presence, His love and His grace,
As we sing of the wonders of His holy place.”
As we can see, the theme of the glory of creation is consistently present throughout the hymn. The language and imagery used support and reinforce this theme, making for a cohesive and compelling text.
In conclusion, ChatGPT demonstrates impressive capabilities in terms of writing hymn texts. Its output is consistently well-written, with a strong focus on language and theme. While it is not meant to replace human writers, ChatGPT can serve as a useful tool for generating first drafts or for inspiration when writing hymns.
Featured image generated by Stable Diffusion 1.5 based on the prompt “An AI composing hymns, futuristic painting, HQ, 4k”