The thing about working with a giant language model like GPT-3 is it has read parts of the internet that it never occurred to me might exist. Like press releases from breakfast cereal companies, articles about press releases from breakfast cereal companies, blogs by breakfast cereal enthusiasts, and probably every bit of copy from every grocery store's online cereal section.

My own brush with the cereal world came when someone tagged me in a tweet about four new cereals being released in late 2021. Apparently, the cereal makers have continued to innovate on many fronts, including ever-more-decadent combinations ("CinnaGraham Toast Crunch", anyone?).

I took the four cereals (the other three: Strawberry Banana Cheerios, Reese’s Puffs Cluster Crunch, and Kashi Maple Waffle), found short descriptions of them, and gave them to GPT-3 as a list it could build on. I tried this experiment with DaVinci, the largest GPT-3 model, and Ada, the smallest.

DaVinci definitely understood the assignment.

Cinnamon Toast Crunch with marshmallow cream - features the classic taste of cinnamon toast with a marshmallow cream center. Kellogg's Eggo Nut Frosted Strawberry Pancakes - Nutty flavored strawberry frosted pancakes topped with colored confetti sprinkles.  Grahammeister - for fans 21 and up, this once limited-edition cereal has made a comeback. Rice Krispies Treats hazelnut fudge - exquisite hazelnut fudge gooey clusters made with 0% white cane sugar, inside the trusted taste of original Rice Krispies Treats cereal.

Ada, on the other hand, didn't understand that the examples were cereal, or didn't understand how cereal works, and/or didn't understand how humans talk about foods. Its ...cereals were a bit questionable.

OrbCrumpets - Bright yellow biscuit made with only high quality, raw ingredients. Foam Squares – Chewy and colorful fun fun fun foam squares deliver the fun flavor of muffins and covered train cars !!! Gudgetz Tallow Rolls - a science developed recipe. Non-Stick Carbonated Waffle Balls - Gold standard for fun waffle ball innovation using wheat-based flavors and crispy, aluminum foil

Many of Ada's cereals sounded like a really bad idea.

Original Cool Ranch Cheese and Dried Cranberry Oatmeal - all the wholesome, cheesy oatmeal with a choice of mild, sweet or salty!
Ingredis Fiberwaste Cream Cheese Cheerios  - kids grab a box and put them in their mouths, making fun flavors taste even better !!! !!! !!! !!!
The Brain Squirrels oatmeal box is the best oatmeal I've found that really tastes like the sourdoughty oatmeal best!

And are these even cereals?

Happy Day Candy and Treats - fun and sweet small puffs of real candy and treat that kids and adults can consume with their regular meal.
Paper dinner punches - Breakaway mini punch bowls filled with homemade cigars and foil dollar cups outdid those ear bonnets included
Two Finger Bobops - Unlike regular bobs and bastons that grow on their own, BBQ bobs, smitchers and hot bobs grow on trees.

Bonus content for AI Weirdness supporters: more of Ada's "cereals"!

Subscribe now