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Convertor from Text to Poetry, Song or Music

Computer-assisted aesthetic enhancement of treaties, declarations and agreements (Part #1)


Introduction
Preamble
Distinguishing modes of aesthetic sonification
Conventional aesthetic enhancement and adaptation of constitutive documents
Interrelated modules, challenges and applications
Related initiatives
Conversion options
Design considerations
Possible texts for experiment
References

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Introduction

The medium on which constitutive psychosocial patterns (legal texts) are articulated, or through which they are expressed, effectively continue to follow the ancient tradition of inscribing such directives or edicts "in stone".

The current evolution of software techniques for text parsing notably allows for its conversion into speech in text readers (for those disinclined to read text displayed on a screen). More complex translation software allows text to be converted into text in another language, possibly also output as speech. Voice recognition software adds to such possibilities. Experiments have long been undertaken with computer generation of poetry (one variant of digital poetry) and of music from seed elements. Music is itself commonly used to trigger dynamic visual patterns.

The concern here is with the computer-assisted systematic conversion of text into poetry, song or music. The processes described focus on the desirable options, the specific software challenges, and the useful applications associated with various stages of development -- irrespective of early fulfillment of all envisaged possibilities. The emphasis is on the "aesthetic enhancement" of texts of fundamental treaties, declarations and agreements. The object is to render the semantic content of such texts more widely comprehensible and memorable, without losing their essential significance, notably for the benefit of those who prefer non-textual communication modes. Many other applications may be envisaged, perhaps including inter-faith and pre-nuptial agreements.

An important reason for such conversion is that text processing is primarily a function of the left hemisphere of the brain whereas other modes vital to comprehension are a fiunction of the right hemisphere. The conversion is therefore specifically designed as a means of transferring significance from one to the other as a means of benefitting from the particular integrative skills of the second. This facility is potentially of value as a feedback mechanism when endeavouring to articulate treaty-type texts. These depend in some measure on the manner in which their significance can be effectively communicated to people who may have little inclination to read texts -- even if they are not functionally illiterate. The facility is also intended as a means of offering various forms of summary or synthesis with ready appeal to the media.

It could be argued that legal texts, as currently conceived, represent what might be described as the "lowest common aesthetic denominator". It is not surprising that many are apathetic about them and are more highly engaged by other styles of presentation.

The essential practicality of the approach here is that it avoids the major problems of voice recognition and text translation, although these are now increasingly soluble. Nor is it directly concerned with creative generation of text, poetry or song. The challenge is constrained to enhancement of comprehension through introduction of aesthetic qualities into the existing semantic patterns provided by input text.

troduction of aesthetic qualities into the existing semantic patterns provided by input text.


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