A.I.-Generated ‘Nothing, Eternally’ Is Humorous however Not Like ‘Seinfeld’

Writing generated by synthetic intelligence tends to fall into two classes: the flat and the bizarre. Ask ChatGPT a easy query, and it’ll reply within the diction of a mediocre middle-school pupil making an attempt very laborious to please a instructor. However if you happen to give it a sufficiently uncommon project, you would possibly get one thing extra surreal.

Nothing, Eternally is an prolonged experiment in bot-generated surrealism. Since December 14, 4 figures modeled on the central characters of Seinfeld have been transferring awkwardly throughout a Twitch panorama that appears like an historical online game, with their dialogue scripted by a synthetic intelligence. In concept this can go on endlessly, although as I write it has been taken briefly offline whereas the creators attempt to discover a option to hold the characters from saying something transphobic.

The place the unique Seinfeld was constructed round shut observations of social conventions, this sitcom from the uncanny valley feels prefer it was constructed by aliens unable to interpret any human conventions in any respect. The characters would possibly immediately begin discussing the afterlife, or would possibly descend into non sequiturs; fun observe inserts itself at semirandom intervals. In a single sequence, the Jerry Seinfeld stand-in stood onstage at a comedy membership for minutes with out saying a phrase.

In case you catch this in the suitable state of mind, it is fairly humorous—although the explanations it is humorous don’t have anything in frequent with the explanations Seinfeld is humorous.

Be they flat or bizarre, bot writers work by scooping up particles from the noösphere, recombining it, and depositing it into a brand new context. We had analog variations of that lengthy earlier than ChatGPT existed: William Burroughs described the cut-up methodology, wherein he extracted items of preexisting texts and rearranged them, as a writing machine. All the things since then is simply refinement.

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