Wednesday 25 December 2019

hark the herald ai’s carol

Reprising a 2017 experiment this time with more powerful machines, Janelle Shane (previously) had her neural network try its hand at composing Christmas songs, drawing from a dataset of two hundred and forty carols compiled by the Times of London, and the output really underscores how profoundly strange that the holiday with its strange fossilised language would be for outsiders.
With verses for Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer like “Its heart was full of sugar / And the most prized food item was its head” and “For sinful men such a deity doth appear / And wink and nod in reply.” If you subscribe to AI Weirdness at the link above, you can sign up to receive the full text of these and other experiments—which as an occupational hazard feature an inordinate amount of cusses and references to gun-violence. Grandma got run over by a reindeer.

The wretched world is run by ox and ass
The wretched world is run by ox and ass,
And in vain build I.