AI-generated Seinfeld satire goes viral, gets suspended after transphobic statements

In the future, entertainment will be randomly generated. It will not be transphobic.

It might have only been a matter of when rather than if. The viral AI-generated sitcom Nothing, Forever has been suspended from the Twitch video platform for 14 days after its protagonist made transphobic and homophobic comments.

The stream was taken offline after the standup part of the show saw the main character say things like, "I'm thinking about doing a bit about how being transgender is actually a mental illness," according to a report by Vice.

Other phrases included statements like "all liberals are secretly gay and want to impose their will on everyone" and "transgender people are ruining the fabric of society."

The message on the show's Twitch page said the channel was "temporarily unavailable due to violation of Twitch's Community Guidelines or Terms of Services."

The susceptibility of AI programs to human bias, including racism, sexism, and homophobia, is well documented. The show's creators said that machine-generated views on Nothing, Forever did not reflect their own and appealed the suspension.

"We'll be back and will spend the time working to ensure to the best of our abilities that nothing like that happens again," they said on Discord following the suspension.

They blamed the event on technical difficulties, saying that they had to switch to a less sophisticated version of OpenAI's GPT-3 model after the one Nothing, Forever runs on started experiencing outages.

Viral hit

Tens of thousands of viewers have tuned in to watch the AI-generated sitcom Nothing, Forever on the Twitch video platform. It is based on Seinfeld, a popular 90s comedy series, and is "a show about nothing that happens forever," according to a description on its now-suspended channel.

"Kinda like popular sitcoms of the past, except that it never stops," the description read. It said Nothing, Forever is always on and runs every day of the year.

The authors noted that much of the show's content – except for the artwork and laugh track – is generated through machine learning and AI algorithms, with the show's lines coming from GPT-3.

While Nothing, Forever is filled with prolonged pauses, random laugh tracks, and weird camera angles, some users say that that's what makes it alluring.

It is meant as a satire of Seinfeld and revolves around four familiar characters from that show. They are named differently, so Jerry becomes Larry, and Elaine is called Yvonne.

"Strange alternate universe"

Viewers of Nothing, Forever found dialogues on the show could be genuinely amusing. Someone has made a YouTube compilation of "best clips" from the show, so they would not get lost, forever.

"I heard a really funny joke yesterday. What did they call a bear with no teeth?" a Kramer look-alike asks Yvonne, pausing for a laughing track to play out. "A gummy bear," he then says and makes a robotic "ha ha ha" sound.

"That's hilarious," Yvonne responds. "You know what they say – if you don't laugh, you'll cry."

In another scene, characters break the third wall and start discussing their "funny voices and strange hand gestures," describing their environment as "some kind of strange alternate universe."

"I guess it's not the worst place to be a comedian," one of them said, while the other added: "The audience here seems pretty receptive to our jokes… but I could do without all the weird background noises."

The project was launched by Mismatch Media, which describes itself as an "experimental media lab."

It says its team includes scientists, entrepreneurs, and engineers interested in creating experimental forms of television shows or video games through machine learning technologies.

A similar project online has AI-generated versions of director Werner Herzog and philosopher Slavoj Žižek engaging in a never-ending conversation.

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