I’ve been having fun using GPT-3 to generate weird versions of internet memes. Even if it’s a meme that didn’t exist when GPT-3’s training data was collected from the internet (which was October 2019 for the version I’m using), most memes will fit within its prompt length and it’s able to follow the format just well enough to be fun, while also bringing in weird stuff because it doesn’t quite get how all this works.

An example meme: people have been inviting their friends to choose their best match among sets of colors and descriptions: “Green – mutual you would probably fight if you met irl”, “Lemon - so cool, they are almost intimidating”. I used a list of these as a prompt for GPT-3 to add to, and penalized it slightly for repetition so I wouldn’t just get repeats of the same common colors. It came up with ideas that are way more interesting in my opinion:

black with white dots - exotic and mysterious, befriends a lot of cats, probably a magician like his mother  spiders - holy shit a spider horse  aquamarine - walks on water or is water, or both. likes iambic pentameter.  maroon - owns a pet blackbird, plenty of hidden depths  fuschia - literally wants to marry a cup and saucer they are so stylish  .  puce - recently returned from a trip to mars, no one knows yet, but they owe it all to this person  periwinkle - shy, ironic, loves patterns and polkadots. a level 10 gastropod.  midnight - suave but I definitely stole their wallet

I decided to see if I could influence the list in a particular direction. GPT-3’s job, technically, is to try to fill in the rest of a web page that starts with your prompt text. So what if I listed the original colors, THEN wrote that I’d trained a neural net to produce more but it had become seriously haunted? Turns out it DOES have an effect - here are some of the colors it came up with.

ivory - chipper demon kitten, lost between fourth and fifth dimension as a result of obscure ritual and filled with undefinable holes by fiery red shadows  teeth - fierce! currently battling the space whales for control of your soul  olive - yells "do not trespass" at everything and is covered in 3 symbols and smells of honey. you do not know where it sleeps and are afraid to ask.  zucchini - looks delicious, sweet, and innocent, but "actually really murdery"  sea foam green - time lord bodega cat  deep blue - telepathic pterodactyl from 18th century britain  galaxy blue - salamander with laserbeam eyes  the void - unknown, as the network immediately overloaded upon seeing it. we suspect it of multiple crimes against nature: filling the world with glowing stars, putting weird textures in the sink, and telling you that it made you eggs

If you want to have a neural net tell you about your personality rather than just giving you options to choose from, may I recommend some AI-generated personality quizzes?

If none of the above are exactly on the mark, I collected a few more interesting colors and descriptions to choose from. Support AI Weirdness and get them as bonus content!

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My book on AI, You Look Like a Thing and I Love You: How Artificial Intelligence Works and Why it’s Making the World a Weirder Place, is available wherever books are sold: Amazon - Barnes & Noble - Indiebound - Tattered Cover - Powell’s - Boulder Bookstore

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