How I built an Afrikaans AI Poetry Bot


After letting go of my childhood dreams of building my own Terminator (or Chappie or JARVIS) I settled for something that writes (pretty bad) Afrikaans poetry, among other things. Here’s how I did it. First, What is AI? Read ten books about it and you’ll probably end up with ten different definitions. Broadly, however, it is about software’s ability to make sense of data and take the action that...

Chasing the spirit of Caballo Blanco in the bottom of a Mexican canyon


(This article appeared in issue 38 of Trail Mag) “If you’re going through hell, keep going” Winston Churchill. “Wait, why exactly are you doing this again?”, came the Nagging Voice, who sometimes joins me on my more adventurous runs. I’d been running for more than seven hours under a merciless sun pelting down on me, amid a harsh landscape of gleaming rocks, dirt, and cactuses. I was...

How my friend and I created a fake group and performed at a Taiwanese music festival


Preface  I’ve been hesitant to write about this fun episode, mostly because of my immense respect for Taiwan and the original Spring Scream festival organisers. I do not want to sour any relationships or future opportunities. That said, it was an immensely successful (and funny) marketing exercise and I’ve been asked about it by many friends, so here goes. Taiwan. Touch your...

About me

Werner van Rooyen

Formerly Business Development and Marketing at Luno (where we went from eight nerds in a tiny office to hundreds of people spread over three continents) and before that Marketing at PayFast. Currently a full-time nomad, learning, running long distances and doing research, mostly in Mexico.