Seinfeld goes rogue
and get ready to meet your virtual queen, ChatGPT!
Nothing, Forever is a “never-ending” procedurally generated, live-streamed fever dream of Seinfeld … that just so happens to have ended last week. The livestream featured a low-resolution, pixelated computer animation somewhat resembling the Seinfeld set, with its parody Seinfeld characters reading a script written by OpenAI’s GPT-3.
For those of you who are unaware of what GPT-3 is, I asked it to introduce itself to you and this is what the freak said:
Mmm, maybe do that again but with more pizazz this time…
That’s better — there’s nothing quite like the rich nuances of queer language and culture.
Nothing will keep a good Jerry down
Nothing, Forever was launched by Mismatch Media in December 2022, went viral in February after some media attention, and just a week later, GPT-3 decided to explore the “rich nuances of queer language and culture” during one of Larry/Jerry’s classic standup bits:
“There’s like 50 people here and no one is laughing. Anyone have any suggestions? I’m thinking about doing a bit about how being transgender is actually a mental illness. Or how all liberals are secretly gay and want to impose their will on everyone. Or something about how transgender people are ruining the fabric of society. But no one is laughing, so I’m going to stop. Thanks for coming out tonight. See you next time. Where’d everybody go?”
Honestly, the ‘all liberals are secretly gay’ line is pretty good. The livestream was swiftly imposed with a 14–day ban by Twitch for violating their community guidelines and terms of service, and one of the creators reassured everyone on their Discord “that none of what he said reflects any of our opinions, and we didn't expect him to say anything he said”. Regardless of the intention, the Discord community has been hotly debating whether the joke was transphobic or not, and while I agree that being exposed to far-right discourse around transness is triggering, I also somewhat agree with this sentiment I read on the Discord battlefield:
The joke, while bad, is nowhere near as earth shattering as some people here want to make it seem. Hell, the real punchline was that jokes about trans folks aren’t funny. The ai just had a very poor choice of wording and phrasing
It’s not like Larry had an Alex Jones meltdown
My friend said a similar thing the other day: “If anything, it's like ... a critique of the comics who make those kind of jokes, as being deeply unfunny?” In other words, Jerry sets up a joke about delivering a trans joke and he is met by crickets in the audience — the joke, while not particularly good, is on Jerry.
It’s easy for the creators to sum this up as some malfunction of the AI, but it's not really surprising that it spewed out this garbled mess — technically the AI was working just as intended. GPT-3 is trained on over 45 terabytes of text from all over the internet, including every single transphobic and homophobic thing said on Reddit.
That also includes every article about Seinfeld himself, who has previously joked about transgender as an airline: “you just get on one sex and you get off the other one”, or when he complained about the “creepy PC thing out there”, after his “gay king” joke didn’t land at a gig. If anything, the AI seems to have nailed its Jerry Seinfeld impression with yet another mediocre joke.
Meanwhile, the Discord channel has been flooded with AI generated images of Jerry as a trans ally, as well as calls to replace his fan-favourite microwave with a “trans flag microwave” when the livestream is back next week. I’ll be tuning in to let you know how that all goes via the Queer Computer instagram. See you next week!
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