The AI-produced Seinfeld-Like Twitch TV show is the height of absurdity

Portrait of Nothing, Forever, a Seinfeld-like AI-generated TV running 24/7 on Twitch.

What’s the deal with AI technology?
screenshot: Mismatched Media / Kotaku

There’s always something to watch on Twitch, be that as it may Your favorite musicians are talking about video games or Your favorite streamers discuss politics. Now your choices include vain, and often inconsequential SeinfeldLike a show that works 24/7/365 and is created quickly with AI. Welcome to the future of television, perhaps?

The so-called artificial intelligence has been a very risky topic recently. The technology, which typically uses machine learning to create text, images, and even videos from pre-existing pools of data, is suddenly everywhere: art, articles, essay writing, Even video games. You can hardly escape discourse these days, especially if you spend any time online or reading the news. We seem to have reached that point in the sci-fi movies of the 80’s and 90’s when artificial intelligence took over the world. Perhaps this is especially true in the wake of a suddenly hot Twitch channel, Never watchwhich uses artificial intelligence to create every element of a never-ending TV show.

Watchmeforever, started by media lab Mismatch Media, runs 24/7 Seinfeld-Like, like a sitcom Nothing is forever. Using generative machine learning techniques like DALL-E, OpenAI GPT-3, Stable Diffusion, and others, the resulting video makes Xerox an embarrassment of a ’90s Larry David sitcom. There’s Elaine (dubbed “Yvonne Torres”), George (Fred Castopoulos), Kramer (Zoltan Kackler) and, of course, Jerry (Larry Feinberg), all living in what appears to be a New York-esque city.

But while the show bears a clear resemblance to Seinfeld, does not retain its charm or comedy. In fact, it’s not just awkward, it’s weird and weird. It feels like a rejected PS1 voxel, characters flop when they move, camera angles are oddly positioned with some of the weirdest zooms I’ve ever seen, and the writing is rather flat. Makes sense, given that everything was created with AI.

A forever nothing picture of Larry doing his best comedy routine.

Something, something fly food.
screenshot: Mismatched Media / Kotaku

There’s even a stand-up comedy portion, just like in Seinfeld, and laugh tracks that attempt to reinforce the supposed punchlines. At one point during the show, Larry made this joke about animals eating clowns, asking the crowd why such a thing might happen. “Because they taste funny,” Larry quipped. There was a long bit of silence—customary for Nothing, Forever—before the laugh track briefly popped in, only to be cut short by the even more awkward transitional music. And because this is an endless, AI-generated show, none of these jokes are likely to ever appear again.

But maybe that’s why I, and some 3,000 other people at the time of this writing, can’t stop watching Mismatch Media’s Nothing, Forever. It’s weird, sure, but it’s also alluring in its unsettling production. Everything in the show is stiff and artificial. The voice “acting” especially is rough around the edges. Still, Nothing, Forever has this strange ability to capture my attention as I watch discount Jerry and friends stand around the apartment, often talking about nothing between spates of empty silence.

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The idea that technology can generate infinite ’90s-style sitcoms is undeniably novel. However, as with other modern intersections of AI and media, this machine-generated content looks like a potential slippery slope that has the potential to uproot entire careers, creative or otherwise.

In an email exchange with Kotakuco-founder Skyler Hartl said he and co-creator Brian Habersberger have been working on The Passion Project part-time for the past four years with a team of three to seven people. With all the AI ​​tools at their disposal, including Azure Cognitive Services for generating sound, Hartle believes the team can “create new offerings or formats.”

Picture Nothing is Forever with Fred and Larry standing around a nice looking apartment.

Great, you’re there, Larry.
screenshot: Mismatched Media / Kotaku

“The idea started as an art project—a breed show that didn’t create ‘nothing’ forever, people could tune in to,” said Hartl. “As creators, we thought it was really fun [and] A new space to explore conceptually, but very early on, we’re starting to see the potential for a platform as well as a show that would help facilitate the creation of these types of generative media. When we started, ChatGPT/GPT-3/Stable Diffusion didn’t exist, but with recent developments, it seems more and more that these types of offerings will be one way into the future.”

Based on David Lynch’s 2002 short horror anthology rabbitsOn Exclaim!, Hartl said that the team wanted to “create something that would last forever”, seeing sitcoms from the 1990s as “the perfect vehicle to target”. Hartl noted that the channel is growing steadily, with the chat being “one of the best parts” largely due to the memes people are sharing. Hartl hopes that display and AI technology will empower creators with little or no negative impact on the creation of television.

“Our goal with this project and our platform is to empower more creators, not fewer,” said Hartl. “We want people with limited resources to be able to realize their creative visions, and we think this kind of technology will be the backbone of that.”

Although enjoy the silliness that is Nothing is foreverI remain wary that AI technologies can have a negative impact not only on the arts but on the world as a whole. If used appropriately and sparingly, AI can sometimes make life a little easier. However, since capitalists want to produce as much as possible while spending as little money as possible, I worry that writing is hanging on for at least some of the types of artists and other creators who currently make a living through their art. Nothing is forever It’s neat for sure, but you have to wonder where this kind of thing might eventually lead.

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