When humanity is immortal because of gene-repairing nanobots in all our fast food, we'll need something to do to pass the time. Watching infinite episodes of Friends written by a computer and acted out in virtual reality seems like a good start, and, thanks to cartoonist and software developer Andy Herd, we're pretty much halfway there.
Herd create a neural network using Google's open source machine learning software TensorFlow and fed it a bunch of Friends scripts. From this data, the network learned how to write its own scripts, Herd told The Daily Beast, coming out with gems like this:
[Scene: Monica and Rachel's, Monica and Phoebe are dancing.]
Van Damme: I'll go in a crap.
Monica: Keep talking!
Phoebe: Wow lady! You're just gonna come over to him jumpy. (They start to cry.)
Chandler: So, Phoebe likes my pants.
Monica: Chicken Bob!
Chandler: (in a muffin) (Runs to the girls to cry) Can I get some presents.
Isn't it flawless? Isn't it everything you'd expect? You've got the late-'90s guest star, the sexual tension, Monica's famous wacky catchphrases, and random outbursts of crying. Here are some more of Herd's scripts, which he posted on Twitter on Monday night:
i fed a recurrent neural network with the scripts for every episode of friends and it learned to generate new scenes pic.twitter.com/RIPvYuzEJM— Andy Pandy (@_Pandy) January 18, 2016
Herd, who makes the web comic Pandyland, says that a lot of what his neural network creates is still gibberish, but that he hopes to improve its output in the future. He told The Daily Beast he'll "maybe make it public one day" if it gets good enough, or start experimenting with other TV shows. "Maybe Frasier or Seinfeld," says Herd. "Or maybe mash them all together and create The Perfect Sitcom."