Poetry, AI, and Christmas Markets
A couple of weeks ago, I spent a wonderful weekend in Berlin with friends. In between a hidden gem of Indonesian food one night, and a “textile-free” visit to Spa Vabali, I roamed the city searching for a guilty pleasure of mine—Christmas Markets.
If you don’t know what these are, let’s just say they’re everything bad for you in the best way. Spatleze. Raclette. Roasted chestnuts. Marzipan. Candied nuts. Sausages. You get the idea. But while the markets might vary, there’s one constant: Glüvein. This mulled read wine, fortified and sweetened and spiced, is the perfect foil to the chilly nights and brutalist architecture of one of my favorite cities.
Imagine my delight, then, when I found a Christmas market in Berlin’s LGBTQ district, complete with a disco/house variant on the usual winter playlists.
So I dragged this perfect little cup across Denmark and London, and home to Montreal. And today, I noticed the writing on the back of the mug.
Unsure of my command of Teutonic languages, I fired up Google Translate. And things went … unexpectedly. So here, gentle reader, is a wonderful, slightly kinky, AI-generated holiday beat poem for all of you.
But wait. It gets better.
Finally, after all these, the truth comes out: Google Translate isn’t Machine Learning at all. It’s humans, furiously typing translations of weird, hard-to-read text. How do I know this? Because one of them sent me a coded message:
SOS. I’m still alive.