CCTV and Baidu launch AI to write Spring Festival couplets

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In celebration of the upcoming Spring Festival, China Central Television (CCTV) has teamed up with Chinese Internet giant Baidu to launch an online system that can automatically compose couplets.

A picture containing the AI-written couplets can be generated to share on social media. [Screenshot/]
A picture containing the AI-written couplets can be generated to share on social media. [Screenshot/]

Spring Festival couplets are handpicked by Chinese families during the New Year period to protect the household from evil spirits, or just to decorate their homes to liven the atmosphere in preparation for the holiday.

Couplets are commonly comprised of two paper scrolls inscribed with auspicious sayings or good wishes matched in rhythm, length, and context. They are pasted down both sides of the front door of a house. Another shorter scroll is usually pasted across the top of the door.

Using AI technology, the Smart Spring Festival Couplets app created by CCTV and Baidu can write a pair of customized couplets within seconds according to the key words entered by users.

Users can share a picture containing their AI-generated couplets to social media. And they have a chance to win a pair of couplets painted by a high-tech calligrapher in the form of a robot arm developed by Dobot, a leading robotics provider in China.

Couplets are not the only Spring Festival tradition to get a high-tech makeover in recent years.

Another Spring Festival tradition is giving gifts of cash to bring good luck. Alipay, the payment platform of Chinese Internet giant Alibaba, is now often used to send gift money during the Lunar New Year holiday.

Some Chinese traditions have also inspired their own advancements in machine learning, according to the Microsoft Research Blog.

In 2015, an online Chinese riddle game was developed in Microsoft Research's Beijing lab that can both quickly answer a user's riddle and generates several riddles based on a Chinese character selected by a user.

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