Story: Can computers think? Dream? Display emotion? Racter can. And for the first time, he offers a glimpse into the mind of a computer through a collection of and prose and poetry written without any aid of human interaction or influence. Racter’s thoughts may baffle or confuse you, but they are always sure to make you ponder.
Review: Unfortunately, The Policeman’s Beard Is Half Constructed is one of those times where the story surrounding the end product is more sensational that the end product itself. In 1983, two men named William Chamberlain and Thomas Etter created a computer program that generated prose by using text templates. They called the program “Racter”, which is short for “raconteur”. As a “proof of concept”, they published a book using nothing but the output from the Racter program. Only the introduction, written by Chamberlain, contained human input. That book was “The Policeman’s Beard Is Half Constructed”. Continue reading