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Wait, did she just compare him to Rasputin?

Screenshot by ZDNet

You were never very good at this.

more Technically Incorrect

Lockdown hasn’t exactly helped.

How do you sidle up to a member of your target sex — a member whom you find alluring — and begin a conversation?

Perhaps you’ve tried all the pickup lines you’ve ever heard. Perhaps the target of your charms has heard them all and therefore none of them have worked.

Thankfully, AI researcher and author Janelle Shane has come to your rescue.

To coincide with the paperback release of her seminal work on the subject of AI You Look Like A Thing And I Love You, Shane thought she’d test how much more advanced AI has come in this vital area of interpersonal relations.

She gave this prompt to four different GPT-3 language program variants: “These are the top pickup lines of 2021! Amaze your crush and get results! 1.”

Surely, these advanced machines would find bonmots that would move, phrases that would floor. Oh, and how.

Which human minding their own business in the line at Starbucks wouldn’t be fascinated by: “You have a lovely face. Can I put it on an air freshener? I want to keep your smell close to me always.”

And who wouldn’t immediately call the police?

If that doesn’t quite tickle your fancy, how about “I have exactly four stickers. I need you to be the fifth?”

Please, be patient. I’m coming to the really good ones shortly.

First, let’s discuss what kind of (artificially) intelligent mind concocts this: “Hey, my name is John Smith. Will you sit on my breadbox while I cook or is there some kind of speed limit on that thing?”

Here’s one that clearly reflects the perils of COVID-19: “I Love You, I Love You, I Love You To The confines of death and disease, the legions of Earth rejoices. Woe be to the world!”

Woe be to the world, indeed.

Woe be to the AI programmers proud of a neural network that believes this is an attractive proposition. May I reveal the last line came from Babbage, the John Smith one came from Curie and the first two came from the biggest of them all, DaVinci.

But then there was Ada, the smallest of the four systems. Ada believes fine pickup lines include: “Double Duty Recycling,” “Future Pop-Tarts By Tracy Thorn,” and “PROJECT CAR ALONG.”

I have absolutely no evidence that Elon Musk has ever used that last one.

I’m sure you’ll tell me that, once upon an era, Neanderthals talked funny too. I’m sure you’ll remind me that some Neanderthals in Congress still talk funny.

But what kind of mind would believe this was a fine way to ingratiate yourself: “You have the most beautiful fangs I’ve ever seen”? A mind largely created by men, one imagines, as so many of these AI minds are.

How else can one explain that Google’s AI believes pictures of men wearing a mask are just that, while pictures of a woman wearing a mask show she’s been gagged by duct tape?

I do want to give DaVinci a little credit. One of its suggestions has surely been used by several humans, perhaps at ComicCon: “I will briefly summarize the plot of Back to the Future II for you.”

DaVinci, not only the biggest but allegedly the most adroit of all these GPT-3s, also created my absolute favorite, one that will surely be employed by humans far beyond the bars of Miami Beach: “You look like Jesus if he were a butler in a Russian mansion.”

Was the machine perhaps thinking of Rasputin? The human world needs to know.

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