Few could have predicted that the must-have toy of 1998 would be an owl-like bilingual hamster doll with infrared sensors, or that in 1975 kids would be begging their parents for a toy that is literally a single rock in a cardboard box.

But could AI have predicted it? Could AI predict the next fad toy?

If it could, this would obviously be big business. So, I wrote up short descriptions of a pet rock (1975), Tickle Me Elmo (1996), and a Furby (1998), and gave them to GPT-3 as a list to complete. Since GPT-3 is trained to predict internet text, whatever it added to the list would be what it deemed most likely to come next.

I give you: GPT-3's fad toy predictions for 2022 and beyond.

2022: French stick - Artisanally crafted, wooden, low-fat stick made from potatoes or vegetables, thin enough to fit in a toaster.  2023: Watchamacallit - Light purple, furry-logic toy with smiley mouth, one 'horn' and a tape recorder on its back that dishes out self-proclaimed facts non-stop.
2024: Banana - A fruit-sized music player. Makes any digital music sound like banana-shaped music.  2030: Power Ties - Thin piece of metal clothing accessory that heats people in whom they are embedded and creates a personal force field.
2037: Kitela - Cloud-based, artificially intelligent program that helps users maximize their mental acuity through games, lectures, and the integration of mental programs with a network of billions of other Kitelas.  2048: Smart tweed - Unisex woolen coat smart enough to choose an outfit for its owner, coordinate with their smartphone, and access their daily Andreality.

Please use these predictions reponsibly - if you do manufacture the French stick, please do make sure it is actually safe to put in a toaster, and when 2037 rolls around, please try your best to make sure Kitela is not evil.

I also tried generating predictions using Ada, the smallest of the GPT-3 models. The results were a lot less believable; at least I myself don't quite believe that in 2022 kids will be excited for a 5-foot tall brown rabbit with tiny mouthparts. But maybe I don't understand kids these days. Bonus content for AI Weirdness supporters: More of Ada's predictions! Or become a free subscriber to get new AI Weirdness posts in your inbox.

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