In the latest terrifying feat of artificial intelligence, robots get one step closer to total primacy by hijacking our christmas spirit. And we have Canada to thank for it.
Per the AV Club, researchers in Toronto have developed a fun new party game/robot apocalypse harbinger called “neural karaoke,” in which articificial intelligence learns to write songs based on an image. In this particular experiment, the name of the game is Yuletide carols. They showed the robot a picture of a Christmas tree, and this is the haunting tune it churned out:
The robot listened to over 100 hours of Christmas music in order to develop a melody, then analyzed pictures of Christmassy things and crafted lyrics based on word association.
It sounds like a Christmas song, if you’re not really listening. If Mariah Carey did a cover, you might accept turns of phrase like “I swear it’s Christmas Eve. I hope that’s what you say,” as family-friendly carol-fare, instead of the hollow promises of a manipulative machine; or lyrics like “I’ve always been there for the rest of our lives. A hundred and a half hour ago. I’m glad to meet you,” as anything but the ravings of a power-mad robot clawing desperately at some semblance of humanity.
And the most disturbing detail of all: the robot’s obsession with the flowers in the tree. WHO PUTS FLOWERS IN THEIR TREES? LIKE POINSETTIAS? I DON’T THINK ANYONE REALLY DOES THAT.
(Ok, apparently some very Pinterest-savvy types do do that. But that is some next-level decorating tradition that *normal* lazy humans do not observe.)
This AI, however, seems really hung up on the “lots and lots and lots of flowers” which makes me wonder if they’re actually conflating Christmas services with funerals–and the flowery memorials of the puny-minded humans they’ll eventually usurp.
Merry Christmas, y’all.
Via AV Club