AI and predictive text, satire, fiction and humor

Bad Carols, Season 2: Once Upon a Fireplace (the Christmas Joy Song)

Last year, I spread joy and cheer with the Bad Carols Project, aka Christmas Carols Nobody Asked For: A series of ten carols, with lyrics generated by predictive text, set to music of varying badness by yours truly.

Despite great clamor from the fans never to do this again, Bad Carols has been renewed for a second holiday season.

This year’s first project is an attempt to recreate one of those narrative folk songs with a million verses no one remembers, like “Clementine” or every forgotten attempt to set “Twas The Night Before Christmas” to music (there have been many).

Please….enjoy?…

Once Upon the Fireplace (the Christmas Joy Song)

For piano score, click here.

For mp3, click here.

Once upon the fireplace
Santa Claus consulted
With your grandma and her cat
You were not alive yet

Chorus: Christmas merry, Christmas happy, Christmas baby too
Christmas day is, just because of Christmas joy for you

Grandma’s house was fuller than
A face all stuffed with cheer
Christmas came a day early
And then Christmas was just here

Grandad said that it could be
The finest Christmas yet
But heaven only smiled back
And snowed everybody in

Paradise right here and all,
The family still froze!
Remember when we had last year
A feeling in our hearts?

Santa Claus could barely breathe
As Emily was born,
Soaking wet but somehow fine
With being up tonight.

Elf kickbacks surround the child,
Merry reindeer too.
Like the tales that we sing
And the gifts we bring to you.

A Christmas like the Christmas past
Shall never be again,
Holding Jesus in your eyes
Will make this Christmas last.

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AI and predictive text, non-compliant space, satire, fiction and humor

They Don’t Know What They’re Looking For: An AI Generates Book Marketing Copy for NAHARA

Move over, Botnik: I have a new AI obsession.

Enter copy.ai, which is specifically designed to help marketers generate social media copy for their products. It’s basically GPT-3 trained on a bunch of marketing copy.

I’ve been playing around with promotional copy for NAHARA, Book 2 of the Non-Compliant Space Series (due Q1 2021 from Neuroqueer Books!). So I decided to ask copy.ai to weigh in.

The Copy

Something’s rotten in registered space – and the crew of the Jemison intend to find out what it is.

After uncovering a slavery plot on a far-flung space station, the Jemison heads for an even further-flung planet suspected of supplying the trafficked slaves. They find the last thing they expect: a Niralan colony lost for centuries, guarding a terrible secret. But the Jemison’s crew are carrying deadly information of their own in a book whose destructive – or creative – force could change life as they know it.

And Compliance is coming for them.

copy.ai’s Facebook Post Recommendations

When one of you is a Compliance Officer, there’s no such thing as personal space. But are you ready for what happens when the crew of the Jemison defies authority? NAHARA: A Tale of Compliance.

…I like this one. It’s basically NAHARA from the point of view of the antagonist. (N.b. The antagonist is not read for what happens when the crew of the Jemison defies authority.)

NAHARA is a technological and biological marvel, a gripping sci-fi thriller, and a reminder of humankind’s capacity for ethical atrocity.

Forget social media promotion; I’m repurposing this as a back cover blurb. “Humankind’s capacity for ethical atrocity,” indeed.

Compliance. The word itself is instant code for resistance, noncompliance and the deepest threat to humanity’s survival.

“Compliance” is code for…wait, what?

Also, not everything is about humans, geez.

NAHARA is a scifi noir detective series. Set in a future where the U.S. has lost its first-world status, it follows an ex-cop (Santiago), his mentor (Brizuela), and the android liaison (Andora) who get tangled in interplanetary intrigue and conspiracies when a strange book falls into their hands.

I hate it when the AI writes a better book than I wrote.

Google Descriptions

These are 90-ish character descriptions tuned for Google search results. I am…disturbed.

The crew of the Jemison is a burnt-out, near-mutinous group – former partners drawn together

…I mean, no lies detected.

After the UN-sanctioned slaughter of the Niralan homeworld, one captain and her crew

copy.ai just took a very dark turn. I mean, sure, NAHARA has slavery and murder and messy breakups in it, but it doesn’t have genocide. …yet.

Deep Space Nine relaunch. The Jemison crew try to navigate their way through the newly discovered Niralan

How DARE you, GPT-3. Nahara is very obviously a Voyager reboot.

Instagram Captions to Create Vibes

I’m not sure what vibes are or whether it is strictly OSHA compliant to create them by rubbing GPT-3 all over my novel manuscript. But here we go.

They couldn’t afford to let it go. They didn’t know what they were taking on. And by the time they did, only one of them could save the ship.

This is a better blurb than anything I have written so far, and I 100 percent want to steal it and put it on the back of the book in place of that thing I wrote at the beginning of this post.

You’re in the wrong storyline, Compliance said.

Dammit.

I’m a Niralan diplomat. This was my life. I am not accustomed to mercy, or forgiveness.

…Actually, this is the plot of THE AMBASSADOR.


NAHARA comes out in early 2021. Until then, pick up the prequel, NANTAIS, from the publisher or on Amazon Dot Com.

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AI and predictive text, satire, fiction and humor, the creative process

I Interviewed Three AIs for a Job and I’m Hiring All of Them

I do a lot of predictive-text creative pieces with Botnik, but it’s not the only AI-generated text option available – by a long shot.

For instance, check out Talk to Transformer, which generates text based on the massive GPT-2 dataset. Write With Transformer is also based on GPT-2, but acts more like predictive text: You ask it to autocomplete a phrase or sentence, and it generates suggestions.

I decided to compare Botnik, Talk to Transformer, and Write With Transformer head to head: I forced them all to interview for a made-up job as my personal assistant.

Botnik, of course, is at a disadvantage. No matter which keyboard I load, Botnik is interviewing on a much smaller dataset than the massive GPT-2. To give Botnik a fighting chance, I loaded the “Jeff Bezos quotes” keyboard. GPT-2 is still a larger dataset, but at least Botnik is now a billionaire.

Here’s how they did.

interviewtransformer

Me: Tell me about yourself.

Botnik: Datacenters would work on behalf of customers if we understood technology. Research is still worth emphasizing because it adds glue to our shareholders.

TTT: I have a game where I can make some really great single-player games for Linux with just Unity 3D. And to me, that’s most exciting. And the least exciting is checking other people’s games.

WWT: A: My name is David L. Miller. I’m a lawyer in Atlanta, Georgia . I started my law practice on August 2, 1987. My firm has been practicing law for 35 years, so that’s nearly 30 years of practicing law.

Me: Why do you want to be my personal assistant?

Botnik: For fulfillment. Innovation follows reality, and our failures are not hypothetical. Indeed, if you count our current results, we are incredibly amazed.

TTT: Because I can totally handle that! You’re gonna be Super Legal Department!

WWT: Oh, you’re really good at this stuff, aren’t you? I think I can teach you to do better. Can you help me with something? You know how to do that.

Me: Tell me about a time you failed.

Botnik: I would argue toward shorter decisions. Anytime you make something, hundreds of customers download hundreds of millions of questions to your business model. Decisions ultimately limited our approach.

TTT: It’s a tough one. I have to admit, I’m a bit of a character breaker. I wish I had a question.

WWT: You said you were never happy, and then you failed, and now you’re going to get it right. I know how much that means to you. But it’s also what makes you a failure.

Me: What would you do if you caught a co-worker stealing?

Botnik: Shouldn’t you eliminate the source of the problems? We never designed a business model to share.

TTT: Of course they would want to know.  Of course they would want to talk.  Of course, there would be talking.

WWT: You’d probably do the same thing as he did. If he was a thief, you’d ask him why he was stealing things and maybe even file a complaint.

Me: Where do you see yourself in five years?

Botnik: We expect to deliver substantial progress in customer service. We believe that focusing on insurmountable excellence implies impossible success.

TTT: Will they look even better? Will they be even stronger? Those are the questions most people wonder about right now in Washington, D.C.

WWT: I want to be a director for television and I’ve always liked movies. My dad said to me, “Do you think you can make an honest film like this with your money?” and I said, “Well, it’s just so fucking hard.”

Me: What’s one thing you can do better than anyone else in this job?

Botnik: Somewhere, they are growing families with a crisper display. That’s easy. Our job right now is to deliver functionality.

TTT: An alcoholic, who almost lost his freedom on the road.  In prison, spent twenty-three hours on his hands, 19 days in solitary confinement.

WWT: We have to be better in the way we talk to each other. This means talking to each other in a professional way and using the language that’s appropriate.

Me: What’s your biggest weakness?

Botnik: Satisfaction. They never claim that our fulfillment is more efficient. The first major goal for 1999 will be a bold decision to invest in smaller packaging.

TTT: Probably that I’m not a practical planner (which I am not). For some reason, I always make plans for a good day after work, but don’t follow through.

WWT: My biggest weakness is my tendency to think on my feet. As much as I try to avoid it, I have to admit it makes me uncomfortable. I just can’t do it every day.

Me: When can you start?

Botnik: Instantly. I can assure you that I’d even contemplate a significant bump in profit dollars through this channel.

TTT: Well, it’s October 16th, so I guess that’s a question for another blog post. Okay, who am I kidding? I never get a blog post finished on time.

WWT: What can I do to make sure my baby doesn’t feel alone? How can I be a good baby? Why do I get so upset when my baby cries? Most of these questions have a good answer, but the best ones are rarely given.


AIs don’t eat, but I do. Help me consume calories to live by buying me a coffee or sharing this post on social media. 

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