Here’s an idea: what would a script written by artificial intelligence (AI) sound like?

YouTube content creators PBS Idea Channel recently tackled this question, so let’s listen to the bizarre result.

If you’re worried about the rise of sentient computers, relax – this quite a long way off that. Instead, what you’re about to see and listen to was created by machine learning. This is a process in which a programme is given an end goal and the tools to get there, but it has to “learn” how to achieve it.

In this example, a programme was given five years worth of scripts from Idea Channel’s past videos. It then uses that data to learn how to write its creation.

This process, called language modelling, can also be altered with various parameters including “warm up” or “prime” text. This is a kind of seed for the programme begin with. It looks at the inputed text and decides which word to drop next based on it. It looks at the prime text plus what it has written and then decides which word to drop after that, and the cycle continues.

The prime text here is the term “here’s an idea” the catchphrase which kicks off most Idea Channel videos.

No, you’re not listening to machine code as the programme that created this script isn’t a very good writer.

The output from the AI could be so nonsensical either because the programme that made it isn’t perfect, its input wasn’t good or a combination of both. As the old saying goes: “garbage in, garbage out“.

That being said, the Idea Channel is one of the best we’ve come across on YouTube. It’s consistently well researched, informative, thought provoking and funny. Maybe AI just needs to start on a language a little less garbage than English.