I Asked AI to Write a Poem About the Fashion Industry

workers wear face masks and stand behind sewing machines in large garment factory
Creative Commons License, by Fahad Faisal

ChatGPT Writes a Poem About the Fashion Industry

ChatGPT and other AI have drawn both wonder and criticism in recent weeks. This new generation of machine learning models mimics human speech and other forms with much more accuracy than previous versions.

Because of this, it is harder to tell AI and human-generated content apart. This has far-reaching implications for academia, publishing, art, and other industries where stolen, manipulated, or plagiarized information threatens the integrity of the entire field. I know my professor friends are really struggling to figure out how to prevent AI use in student essays.

On the other hand, AI like ChatGPT has the potential to be a useful research platform. It can respond to user inputs in a more intuitive way than typical search engines. And the way that it gathers and compiles information can draw connections a human might not immediately see.

I have enjoyed experimenting with ChatGPT on topics related to sustainable fashion. I even had it write a Christmas Day sermon (it wasn’t good, but it was kind of fun – no, I didn’t preach it).

Out of curiosity, I asked ChatGPT to write a poem in iambic pentameter about labor issues in the fashion industry. This is the result (scroll below the screenshot for the whole poem):

screenshot of ChatGPT question panel. Text is listed below the image.

In far-off lands, where labor’s cheap and low,
There lies a story, most of us don’t know,
Of workers toiling long, for paltry pay,
In sweatshops, where the sun beats down all day.

They sew and weave, with nimble fingers, fast,
To make the garments, that will never last,
In fashion’s whims, that change with every year,
And leave these workers, with naught but pain and tear.

The threads they use, are harsh and rough and strong,
And so the skin, of these poor workers, long,
Is scarred and torn, with every stitch they make,
And yet they toil, for their children’s sake.

And yet we shop, with wanton disregard,
For cheaper prices, and clothes that barely last,
We buy and buy, without a thought or care,
For those who suffer, to make our clothes so fair.

Oh let us then, with hearts that are awake,
Consider well, the choices that we make,
For every garment, that we purchase, holds,
The story of a worker, and the life she’s sold.

Leah Wise

Leah Wise is the founder of StyleWise Blog. She has been writing, speaking, and consulting on sustainable fashion, the fair trade and secondhand supply chain, and digital marketing for over ten years. An Episcopal priest, Leah holds a B.A. in Religion from Florida State University and an M.Div. from Yale Divinity School. When not working, you can find her looking for treasures at the thrift store.

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