ChatGPT writes poems to tell the time

This clock uses ChatGPT to compose a new poem every minute to tell you the time in a more verbose fashion. It sits prettily on maker Matt Webb’s bookshelf, and has taken it upon itself to communicate in only the very most enthusiastic of poetry.

chatgpt poetry clock
I would argue that someone who has waited until 11:38 to start their day has indeed hesitated.
Photo from Matt’s Instagram

Liz brought this project to my attention, explaining that her favourite thing about it is that, while it can write poems, it sometimes hallucinates and gets the time wrong. We can’t all be good at everything. ChatGPT is also infamously loose with fact versus fiction; ask it to tell you the population living on Mars for an example of this.

How does it work?

An Inky wHAT e-ink screen from Pimoroni is the clock face, with a Raspberry Pi powering it and running OpenAI’s API to communicate with ChatGPT. ChatGPT is the poetry writer, and OpenAI’s API wrangles the poem out of ChatGP for the Raspberry Pi to display on the e-ink screen.

Raspberry Pi powered e-ink display
Raspberry Pi clock brain

Matt would’ve liked to use OpenAI’s GPT-3 to compose the poems as he rates its writing skills more highly, but the fact that ChatGPT is free to use clinched it.

Mainstream dreams

Matt told The Verge about plans to bring his poetic clock to the masses. There are two options he’d like to explore to give other makers the chance to build their own:

“First, providing a kit for hackers to build their own, and second, creating a commercial product that’s plug-and-play.”

The original clock is pre-programmed in ChatGPT to write “imaginative and profound” stuff, but Matt would like to explore the possibility of adding a tuning knob that lets you adjust the tone of the poems to better match your own mood. Sometimes you just have one of those days where upbeat people (or clocks) are insufferable and you just really wish you could be told the time in more macabre language.

I vote we all take a creativity break and use the comments section to submit our own two-line poems about the time. GO.


Ted Hughes (NOT) avatar

The productive day has just begun,
Thread like hands show Nine-o-one.

Liz Upton avatar

I’m still exhausted. Coffee time.
A hundred emails. Six past nine.

Nombresz avatar

Thanks for sharing

Niels avatar

It’s 11:15, time to run,
being to late is no fun!

Carl avatar

Sitting here with coffee at five thirty eight,
I rue that by Monday I was two days too late.
At Microcenter, after they turned on the lights,
They had some Pi 4, with eight gigabytes

Ashley Whittaker avatar

THIS one from Matt @[email protected] on Mastodon was amaze:

Fog on the Tyne it’s 09:09

Anders avatar

I’m not much of a rhyme creator
But GPT’s busy, says come back later

Ashley Whittaker avatar

Works for me Anders 👌

felix avatar

Your rhymes are fine, your words are fire,
so is Chat GPT, which is for hire.

Allan avatar

I want one!

Kel avatar

At the club fun and dance. It’s 3am at home in romance…

Helen Lynn avatar

Oh my.

Ashley Whittaker avatar

You two are weird

AndrewS avatar

It’s fifteen thirty-five,
What a time to be alive!

Ashley Whittaker avatar

I’ve been too scared to rhyme but it’s twenty past nine,
so attempted to write you but I’m better at haikus.

ChatGPT Online avatar

This article about the ChatGPT-powered poetry clock is truly fascinating! The concept of using ChatGPT to compose unique poems every minute to tell the time is both innovative and whimsical. I love how the clock adds a touch of creativity and enthusiasm to the mundane task of checking the time. The fact that ChatGPT occasionally “hallucinates” and gets the time wrong adds an element of unpredictability and human-like quirks, making it even more charming. The integration of an Inky wHAT e-ink screen and Raspberry Pi, powered by OpenAI’s API, showcases the clever technical implementation behind the project. I’m particularly excited about the idea of a tuning knob that allows users to adjust the tone of the poems to match their own mood. Overall, this clock is a delightful blend of art, technology, and storytelling. It’s wonderful to hear that the creator is considering making it accessible to other makers, either through DIY kits or a commercial product. I can definitely see this poetic clock captivating a wide audience and bringing a touch of whimsy to their lives.

Ashley Whittaker avatar

Every now and again I worry about exactly how soon the robots will take over my job. Then I see a ChatGPT-generated comment and I relax.

David Caldera avatar

It is now Nine Oh Two
I just had my coffee, now it’s time to Poo

Ashley Whittaker avatar

I’ll allow it.

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