Comedian gets a bot to generate fake Edinburgh Fringe show titles | ...can you tell the difference?

Comedian gets a bot to generate fake Edinburgh Fringe show titles

...can you tell the difference?

comedyA comedian has taught a bot to generate fake Edinburgh Fringe show titles – and many are indistinguishable from the real thing.

Ted Hill has set up a Twitter feed to share some of the names thrown up by the artificial intelligence, such as Lloyd Lauren: Badd; Adidan Buffy: Rock's Power and the Josh Gwama podcast: Ninja Runs

It came about because his festival show this year is about every US. President, so he built an AI that would generate President’s names, coming up with the likes of Benjamin Quisticstocing and Winey D.E. Garfunkle

‘I thought it would be fun to do the same with Fringe shows,’ he told Chortle. 'As the model seems to work quite well with short discrete pieces of information, like making things. 

‘All in all, I spent about four days on getting the AI to work, which is used for about 90 seconds of my show. So I wanted to try and get some sort of other use out of it.’

He adapted an open-source AI called ’textgenrnn’ and input the database of real Fringe shows this year for it to learn from;

The comic said: ‘Sometimes it just copies ones that already exist and sometimes makes total nonsense. I try to get rid of the 30 per at either end of the ridiculous scales. I find it’s funnier if they could be even the tiniest bit plausible.’

Here are some fake titles which fit that bill:

Garbage outputs include the likes of ,nagg Down Train, El órms didny Geoffline and Y t ficielle Irishman.

Hill, whose show All The Presidents Man is on at the Mash House at 6.40pm daily during the Fringe,  is a primatologist by training – but said  ‘I quit before starting my masters because I liked doing comedy more and also a monkey bit me’.

He added:  ‘In science you often have to learn how to use bits of technology which aren’t very user friendly. So although I hadn’t done much coding before this - I knew I’d be able to learn fairly quickly. I’m quite a tech based comedian, I like using technology to get laughs from new, interesting perspectives. ‘

‘From going through the results, I’ve discovered the most commonly used words in titles are "Aaaargh" and "Improvised".’

Can you tell the difference between real and fake shows? Find out with this quiz: 

Published: 1 Aug 2022

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