Choose Your Quarantine House
So far one of my favorite uses of OpenAI’s new API (which people are calling GPT-3) is for making absurd memes. One of the memes from March/April 2020 was quarantine houses, where people under sudden covid-19 stay-at-home orders took stock of the skills and supplies in each household and starting proposing hypothetical new choices. Which mix of sci-fi characters would you choose to be isolated with? (The house with Murderbot, clearly.)
I did my first GPT-3 experiments back when the quarantine house meme was at its height, but before I could talk about my results. But, due to an egregiously botched coronavirus response, covid quarantine is still particularly relevant in some countries we might name (thanks, USA). So I present to you: choose your quarantine house!
I did this not by training the AI on quarantine house memes (there aren’t enough of those) but by giving it two handcrafted examples, one on food and another on entertainment. I agonized over making each house balanced, and even gave each house themes within the larger overarching topic. House 1 had the fantasy items, House 2 had the cute stuff, House 3 had the scary/spooky versions, and House 4 had the science fiction stuff.
I needn’t have bothered with all this finesse. It seems to have decided that even staying on theme is fairly optional, and the things it includes are often absurdly overpowered. It was shown consistently four items per house. It ignores this.
It was particularly fun when I let it come up with its own house themes. Since its training data cut off in October 2019, it hasn’t heard of covid-19 or seen the quarantine house meme.
For some reason it generated a Cocktails quarantine house theme with 16 houses, some of which contain very questionable-sounding cocktails (anyone want an “Eldrich gecko”?) . It wouldn’t fit in this blog post, but become an AI Weirdness supporter to get it as bonus content. Or become a free subscriber to get new AI Weirdness posts in your inbox!
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