“I mean, really”

2 Dec

There is a little app floating out there called “What Would I Say?” It sifts through everything you have ever posted on Facebook and generates a post that sounds like something you would say.

It’s not just a bot, it’s a YOU bot.

Admittedly, when I began, I was skeptical (“No bot can imitate ME! I am special! Maybe the specialest!! No bot can recreate the uniqueness of ME!”). I granted the bot access to my Facebook page and planned to bask in the glory of being right.

But, I was alarmed at how accurate most of the posts were…

Screen Shot 2013-11-18 at 12.14.35 AM

Screen Shot 2013-11-17 at 5.58.47 PM

Screen Shot 2013-11-18 at 12.13.58 AMThese are all totally legit things that I would post.

  1. This is a type of low-level burn I could definitely see myself using.
  2. I don’t listen to Lil’ Wayne’s music- so I was surprised at how concerned I was when he had a seizure. This might have been EXACTLY what I posted.
  3. My weekend revolves around brunch. An invitation to brunch is basically an invitation to be my friend.

I wasn’t entirely surprised that the posts seemed like something I would say. The app was using my words.

What surprised me was the tone of the posts.

I deliberately organize my posts to be funny and attention-grabing. My posts aren’t brilliant- but there is some thought that goes behind it. I’m not just hemorrhaging a bunch of funny words (which is what I assumed this app was going to do).

But the app (which we will now refer to as JennyBot) was generating responses that legitimately sounded like me.

After doing a minimal amount of research, I learned that the bot doesn’t just regurgitate the words from past posts– it mimics the language and style of the posts. My style is apparently ridiculous and grandiose. So even when the sentences didn’t make sense– THE POSTS STILL SOUNDED LIKE ME!

Screen Shot 2013-11-18 at 12.13.27 AM

Despite the fact that this sentence makes no real sense structurally, I had no problem understanding what JennyBot meant. It is not too far off base to say that if I were feeling down and unsuccessful, that I would describe my emotional state as “depressing death + Christmas Pterodactyls*.

(*but I like to think that Tina Fey’s New York includes Christmas Pterodactyls.)

Ultimately, JennyBot painted a fairly accurate portrait of actual Jenny:

  • JennyBot is well-meaning but impractical:

Screen Shot 2013-11-18 at 12.19.27 AM

I enjoyed this one. It sounds like something I casually wrote on my to-do list: buy paper towels, take clothes out of the dryer, take care of problems. While I’m at it, I should just include “achieve enlightenment” underneath.

(FUN FACT: I have never finished a to-do list in my life).

  • JennyBot is emotional:

Screen Shot 2013-11-18 at 12.18.24 AMI like to think that my posts are bizarre and curiously emotional while I, myself, am stoic and cold. If I’m honest, though, I DO get a little moved by the people around me. I can’t help it. I surround myself with awesome people. The compliments you hear from me are the kinds you you usually only hear from super drunk people (“No, seriously! You are AMAZING.”).

  • JennyBot is oddly inspirational:

Screen Shot 2013-11-17 at 6.04.11 PMMotivational posters and songs always seem to think that ASCENDING a mountain is the ultimate achievement. But there ain’t no shame in descending a mountain! There are plenty of non-mountain related activities you can do– and now you don’t have that mountain to deal with!

So, basically, through the magic of JennyBot, I learned that I am emotional, less of a misanthrope than I thought, pro-brunch, and overly invested in the life of rapper Lil’ Wayne (also, I like to talk about Sasquatch, ninjas, gay stuff, and the Russian Embassy).

Learning that a bot absolutely could imitate the specialness of me wasn’t actually such a terrible blow to the ego.

It was thrilling to realize I could finally delegate my tweets to someone else (that shit is tedious, yo!).

Let the robot takeover begin!

In closing:

Screen Shot 2013-11-17 at 6.04.50 PMThanks, JennyBot. I will be.

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2 Responses to ““I mean, really””

  1. Mandy Noonan December 3, 2013 at 2:24 am #

    This one from MandyBot legitimately sounds like something I’d say to you: “I’m okay, it’s necessary to have tackled you off the roof.” After having tackled you off a roof.

  2. Dieselbot December 3, 2013 at 4:00 am #

    These sound bizarrely like student writing. Like, i’m almost positive I’ve read “Your life was to descend a mountain” in an essay before.

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