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Even April Fools jokes are being AI automated

JANELLE SHANE is turning her AI smarts to mischief-making in the latest entry on the “AI Weirdness” blog.

As part of the process of learning how neural networks think and how we can teach them better (and have a good giggle doing it), Shane has already brought us AI created paint colours, heavy metal bands, real ale names and most recently, Dungeons Dragons characters.

As with many neural networks, it starts with being given a whole pile of examples. The idea is that the intelligence will result in it learning the “rules” on what makes a thing, a thing and make more things.

Today’s topic is April Fools’ Jokes – specifically, suggestions for good ones to play.

However, this time the results are based on 129 training examples, rather than thousands, and so the neural network (Andrej Karpathy’s char-rnn, since you asked) needed “lots of smarts but with a very short memory”.

The results are a charming double bluff. While they may not make sense as actual things you can go away and do, in some ways they’re the funniest results yet because they feed into one of the great tenants of comedy – surrealism.

Here are a few of our favourites:

Conference call two people then, when, when your kid asks what it is, say “Dinner”.

A meat and mashed potato sundae makes for quite the hand soap dispenser.

Rearrange somebody while pretending to pee.

Hide all of the entrance to your office building if it only has one entrance.

Hilarious japes!

As ever, Janelle has saved some for her mailing list members, which include some of the stranger, and usually smuttier results. As such we tend to leave those alone when writing up her experiments, but one won’t hurt:

Crap grapes in Easter Egg foils.

Imagine the look on their faces…. µ



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