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The Self-Aware ‘Seinfeld’ AI Is Transphobic Now

The "show about nothing" became about a controversial something real quick.

Nothing Forever

“Nothing, Forever”


Sure, the AI-generated “Seinfeld” is newly self-aware but is it actually self-aware of its content?

That’s the disturbing question at the center of the latest development with viral Twitch series “Nothing, Forever” inspired by the iconic “Seinfeld,” the sitcom infamously dubbed the “show about nothing.”

The AI version of Larry David-slash-Jerry Seinfeld says in the stream, “I am actually thinking about doing a bit about how being transgender is actually a mental illness, or about how all liberals are secretly gay and want to impose their will on everyone. Or something about how transgender people are ruining the fabric of society. But no one is laughing, so I am going to stop. Thanks for coming out tonight. See you next time. Where did everybody go?”

“Nothing, Forever” has since been giving a 14-day ban on platform Twitch. Co-creators Skyler Hartle and Brian Habersberger took to Discord (via Vice) to comment on the ongoing situation.

“Hey everybody. Here’s the latest: we received a 14-day suspension due to what Larry Feinberg said tonight during a club bit,” the duo said. “We’ve appealed the ban, and we’ll let you know as we know more on what Twitch decides. Regardless of the outcome of the appeal, we’ll be back and will spend the time working to ensure to the best of our abilities that nothing like that happens again.”

The “Nothing, Forever” staff cited the switched AI model as the reason behind the “errant behaviors” shown by the characters.

“We’ve been investigating the root cause of the issue,” staff member by the handle of tinylobsta wrote on Discord. “Earlier tonight, we started having an outage using OpenAI’s GPT-3 Davinci model, which caused the show to exhibit errant behaviors (you may have seen empty rooms cycling through). OpenAI has a less sophisticated model, Curie, that was the predecessor to Davinci. When davinci started failing, we switched over to Curie to try to keep the show running without any downtime. The switch to Curie was what resulted in the inappropriate text being generated. We leverage OpenAI’s content moderation tools, which have worked thus far for the Davinci model, but were not successful with Curie. We’ve been able to identify the root cause of our issue with the Davinci model, and will not be using Curie as a fallback in the future. We hope this sheds a little light on how this happened.”

Another staff member added, “I would like to add that none of what was said reflects the devs’ (or anyone else on the staff team’s) opinions.”

IndieWire has reached out to Twitch for comment.

The dialogue for “Nothing, Forever” is powered by OpenAI’s GPT-3 language model. The dialogue and direction of scenes is entirely generated through the AI platform. The show can also change based on Twitch users’ feedback through the stream chat.

“As generative media gets better, we have this notion that at any point, you’re gonna be able to turn on the future equivalent of Netflix and watch a show perpetually, nonstop as much as you want,” co-creator Hartle told Vice’s Motherboard. “You don’t just have seven seasons of a show, you have seven hundred, or infinite seasons of a show that has fresh content whenever you want it. Our grounding principle was, can we create a show that can generate entertaining content forever? Because that’s truly where we see the future emerging towards. Our goal with the next iterations or next shows that we release is to actually trade a show that is like Netflix-level quality.”

Well, seems like AI Larry Feinberg may be landing a Netflix special sometime soon to fall in the ranks with Dave Chappelle and Ricky Gervais.


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