Yes, robots and artificial intelligence are slowly and surely taking away our jobs, but there’s one occupation that’s only part-time but is guaranteed steady work every February which guys haven’t lost to A.I. … yet. That job is creating those excruciatingly short funny and/or romantic sayings to put on tiny candy hearts. A research scientist who trains neural networks has been trying to develop an algorithm to write those little romance notes and the results are bad to awful. What a relief!
“Given a set of data, a neural network will learn the patterns that let it imitate the original data – although its imitation is sometimes imperfect. The candy heart messages it produced… well, you be the judge.”
Janelle Shane sounds like nice but odd person with the perfect training and personality to develop a working very-short-humor generator. She became interested in the idea while working on her Ph.D. in electrical engineering from the University of California San Diego – a field that needs more women. She started a self-explanatory blog called aiweirdness.com to share some of the weird things she found in her research that were created by artificial intelligence. Now that she has a real job in the research and development of custom light control solutions, Janelle uses the blog to showcase the weird results of the neural networks she’s developed in her attempt to intersect art (especially humor) and science.
After developing neural networks to generate names of superheroes, Christmas carols, pick-up lines and even recipes, she turned to candy heart messages. She was encouraged when a few good ones came out:
However, things went downhill from there.
PIN A FACE
TWEET UP BAT
And then they got ugly.
TIME 2 WANK
And more … Janelle posted some and provides a discrete email service to send the raunchier ones.
Do any of the AI-generated heart messages work? It doesn’t look that way, so those jobs writing pithy heart love notes are safe for now. Janelle is looking for other datasets to train the neural network on and says anyone with a “collaboration idea” should contact her. That sounds like a better way to meet nice guys than passing around candy hearts that say “SWEAT POO.”