The holodeck becomes intensely Hawaiian
February 2, 2018 3:19 AM   Subscribe

A bot attempts to write a Star Trek TNG episode. Yes, Episode 279 (Here's Looking at Q) is pretty great.
posted by Foci for Analysis (37 comments total) 38 users marked this as a favorite
 
Riker: You think I need your help, Mr. Data? I'm the first officer to convince a planet to explode, and I look forward to doing it again.

Man, I knew Riker got around, but I had no idea he'd fucked a planet.
posted by leotrotsky at 3:35 AM on February 2 [17 favorites]


According to their tweet, this was made using predictive keyboards, so it's part-bot, part-human, all-borg.
posted by Kattullus at 3:42 AM on February 2 [3 favorites]


They have predictive keyboards for lots of fun corpora.
posted by johnnydummkopf at 3:55 AM on February 2 [1 favorite]


Beverly smiles at the stars—they are never sick.
posted by eustacescrubb at 4:12 AM on February 2 [13 favorites]


Space...what is the point of it? You have no idea.
posted by nubs at 4:24 AM on February 2 [11 favorites]


> They have predictive keyboards for lots of fun corpora.

"Miscellaneous: Beowulf + Maya Angelou + forklift manual"
posted by ardgedee at 4:39 AM on February 2 [3 favorites]


I ran the text of Gibson's Sprawl trilogy through this a while back. If it's still on the system, you can get at it here.
posted by entity447b at 4:55 AM on February 2 [2 favorites]


[frowns telepathically]
posted by Foosnark at 5:05 AM on February 2 [2 favorites]


Riker: You think I need your help, Mr. Data? I'm the first officer to convince a planet to explode, and I look forward to doing it again.

Beverly smiles at the stars—they are never sick.

That's just because Riker hasn't figured out how to talk to any yet.
posted by flamewise at 5:07 AM on February 2 [2 favorites]


Definitely better than "Sub Rosa."
posted by AndrewInDC at 5:08 AM on February 2 [21 favorites]


I don't know how predictive keyboards work and therefore am not sure how it would figure that "Bears" should follow "Security", but I am sure that the series would have been 1000% more awesome with Security Bears.
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI at 5:21 AM on February 2 [12 favorites]


"Q falls out of the ceiling wearing cargo pants"

Seems about right.
posted by Automocar at 6:04 AM on February 2 [14 favorites]


It seems clear that there's a lot of human involvement here. For example when Picard greets Q by saying "Q!", that must be because each line begins with a human typing one or more words and then cherry-picking the funniest suggested words to follow, generated based on the provided corpus. Damn funny though.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 6:06 AM on February 2 [1 favorite]


"Q falls out of the ceiling wearing cargo pants"

Seems about right.


If anyone can pull that off, it’s John de Lancie.
posted by nubs at 6:09 AM on February 2 [16 favorites]


Thanks for posting this. Deeply amusing.

Man, I knew Riker got around, but I had no idea he'd fucked a planet.

[Cut to Riker, in red velvet bathrobe, on the surface of the planet. He lights a cigarette, takes a puff, and presses his communicator.]

Riker [exhaling]: Enterprise, one to beam up.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 6:10 AM on February 2 [9 favorites]


"Q falls out of the ceiling wearing cargo pants"

Seems about right.

If anyone can pull that off, it’s John de Lancie.


Hmmm. Close enough.
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI at 6:36 AM on February 2 [5 favorites]


“The time for me is here.” ~ Q
I need someone to put this quote in a frame in needlepoint and I need it like yesterday!!
posted by Fizz at 6:38 AM on February 2 [10 favorites]


"Here's Looking at Q" sounds like an episode where Q infiltrates Picard's Dixon Hill holodeck program to trap him in 1940s Casablanca … and now I'm describing Overdrawn at the Memory Bank, which makes about as much sense as if it had been written by a bot, so.
posted by CheesesOfBrazil at 6:44 AM on February 2 [9 favorites]


I hope someone has pointed out Wesley's red-alert level coolness in this to Wil Wheaton.
posted by Quindar Beep at 7:01 AM on February 2 [6 favorites]


This reminds me of DJO's seminal "Happy in Paraguay." What do you say we make apple juice, and fax it to each other?
posted by infinitewindow at 8:29 AM on February 2 [2 favorites]


Reads better than fanfiction I've written, I'll admit
posted by potrzebie at 9:19 AM on February 2 [2 favorites]


If you call me Data I will perform a self-replicating dance until this ship is full of me.

tears in my eyes
posted by Countess Elena at 9:22 AM on February 2 [9 favorites]


I hope someone has pointed out Wesley's red-alert level coolness in this to Wil Wheaton.

From his twitter: I am 100% on board for a dramatic reading of this script with the rest of the cast.
posted by Four Ds at 9:26 AM on February 2 [32 favorites]


As one is wont to do, I've realized that if I was trapped in a collapsed building or something the only thing that would bring me comfort is imagining someone superhumanly clearing the blocked passage of rubble and another gruff voice shouting, "Are you alright?" and I would weakly reply with, "W…o…rf," so I'm asking for more Worf lines, please.
posted by chinesefood at 9:47 AM on February 2 [4 favorites]


I'm asking for more Worf lines, please.

You have disgraced my father with your words.
posted by infinitewindow at 9:49 AM on February 2 [17 favorites]


I should inject you with respect.

(Doctor Crusher with the zinger.)
posted by Roentgen at 9:51 AM on February 2 [10 favorites]


This is the best thing I've read all day. Thank you.
posted by doctornemo at 9:54 AM on February 2


I wasn't sure if "security bears" referred to the actual animal, or to large hirsute gay men.

Then it occurred to me that the correct answer is both, of course.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 10:34 AM on February 2 [4 favorites]


"I don't know how to make this be on" is something I have literally said.
posted by The otter lady at 11:40 AM on February 2 [13 favorites]


I should inject you with respect.

(Doctor Crusher with the zinger.)


Yes, but the line that prompted the zinger is my favorite:

"Congratulations to the people who don't know her."
posted by stevis23 at 11:59 AM on February 2 [14 favorites]


It seems clear that there's a lot of human involvement here. For example when Picard greets Q by saying "Q!", that must be because each line begins with a human typing one or more words and then cherry-picking the funniest suggested words to follow, generated based on the provided corpus. Damn funny though.

They've tried to clarify this recently, calling it "predictive keyboards" rather than predictive text. It's a good balance I think; pure predictive text obviously lacks comedy, but without limited choices the human selection wouldn't turn in such bizarre directions.

I wish I had a computer that could locate a big thing of chips.
posted by solarion at 12:52 PM on February 2 [2 favorites]


They will always be in Riker's quarters, solarion. Always.
posted by nubs at 2:33 PM on February 2 [1 favorite]


Botnik's neural-network-created Coachella Lineup.

Featuring Lab Raid, Slaw Bomb, Fistopia, Paper Cop, Psychic Gloria and many dozens more...
posted by Cookiebastard at 4:09 PM on February 2


(Coachella lineup previously)
posted by ardgedee at 4:41 PM on February 2 [1 favorite]


"Predictive keyboards" means word-level Markov chains, right? With a human seeding the first word of a line and / or choosing from the top 3 suggestions, something like that?

It is interesting to have AI suggestions curated and developed by humans, the approach naturally lends itself to zaniness rather than vaguely-right-sounding noise. (It seems that "zany" means, like, random, but not too random.)
posted by grobstein at 5:03 PM on February 2 [2 favorites]


(Of course I use the word "AI" loosely, but fortunately everyone does.)
posted by grobstein at 5:04 PM on February 2


Yeah, essentially it's "Given X previous words you've written, here's the top three words you'll use next based on this corpus" then someone human picks one of those words and the cycle repeats. It's always a question as to how much is human intervention and how much is computer silliness, many of these (like that Harry Potter chapter) strike me as mostly humans writing then peppering in predictive words whenever those are silly or interesting enough.

It's still great, but not exactly like the occasional lists of neural-net generated words and phrases that surface, and even those are always edited to include just the best that the network cranks out. I'd still characterize it as AI-assisted humor, which is offloading comedy the same way state of the art driving assist cars offload driving.
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 5:29 PM on February 2 [2 favorites]


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