AI hobbyists created an homage to their favorite TV show . . . until it got knocked off the server.
What’s the deal: The creators of Nothing, Forever launched a fully automated, never-ending emulation of the popular TV show Seinfeld. The streaming-video service Twitch banned it after its generated dialog was found to violate the terms of service, the entertainment news outlet The AV Club reported.
We need to talk: A collective called Mismatch Media created Nothing, Forever — an experience ostensibly about nothing that would last forever — using a combination of AI models and cloud services.
- The authors prompted OpenAI’s Davinci variation on GPT-3 to generate a stream of dialog. Davinci experienced outages, so the creators switched to Curie, a smaller GPT-3 variant.
- Microsoft Azure’s text-to-speech system read the script in a different voice for each of the four characters.
- The Unity video game engine generated the animation. Unspecified models drove camera motion and other scene direction.
No soup for you: Nothing, Forever launched on December 14, 2022, and by February it had gained tens of thousands of concurrent viewers. On February 6, Twitch suspended it for at least 14 days after one of the characters told hateful jokes. Co-creator Skyler Hartle blamed the off-color remarks on his team’s decision to switch from Davinci to Curie, which has looser built-in moderation controls.
Why it matters: AI assistance can unlock new approaches to storytelling, but it also makes creators vulnerable to technical issues beyond their control. In this case, a malfunction on OpenAI’s side was enough to topple a successful project.
We’re thinking: Generated content was taking a growing share of human attention even before the recent explosion of generative AI — consider text-to-speech models that read posts on Reddit. Get ready for much, much, much more.