This AI-Generated, Endless Seinfeld-Like Show Paints A Wild Picture Of Entertainment's Future

Artificial intelligence is becoming a hot-button issue, and the things it can do can be pretty impressive. Still, there are some severe limitations and problems to consider. There's the case of the ChatGPT chatbot, which can generate responses to text prompts that sound eerily human. According to NBC News, the New York City Department of Education banned ChatGPT in all schools, citing a "negative impact on student learning." In fact, OpenAI, the company that launched ChatGPT, recently created a new tool called the "AI Text Classifier," which can give an idea of how likely a certain text is to have been generated by artificial intelligence (via NBC News).

A San Francisco programmer named Miles Zimmerman went viral with a recent tweet after feeding a very detailed prompt into the AI program Midjourney to get artificially generated images of young people at a party who never really existed. The pictures are almost shockingly accurate except for the teeth and the hands. According to Amelia Winger-Bearskin, an associate professor specializing in AI at the University of Florida who was interviewed for BuzzFeed News, the reason that AI has a hard time recreating hands is because, in the pictures that the AI studies to learn human anatomy, hands are usually partially obscured. People in pictures are usually holding an object or putting a hand around someone or leaning against something. Because of this, artificial intelligence has a very hard time understanding how hands work, and sometimes makes some hideous mistakes like putting nine fingers on one hand.

Now, the latest AI-generated creation comes in the form of the new "Seinfeld"-esque sitcom "Nothing, Forever" which streams on Twitch 24 hours a day.

The true show about nothing

The channel is called Watchmeforever, and it comes from a lab called Mismatch Media. The stream of the AI-generated sitcom "Nothing, Forever" goes on 24 hours a day, seven days a week. According to Kotaku, the show uses several different AI technologies including DALL-E, OpenAI GPT-3, and Stable Diffusion, and somehow spits out a sitcom that looks like "Seinfeld" in the uncanny valley. 

Sure, the AI has a hard time guessing how to make a sitcom. There's a laugh track that laughs at lines that are not funny and sometimes the characters seem confused about where they are exactly. But, in spite of all that, it's still clearly based on "Seinfeld." The characters' names are changed, but Yvonne Torres is clearly Elaine Benes, Fred Kastopolous is George Costanza, Zoltan Kakler is Kramer, and Larry Feinberg is Jerry. It even has interludes in a comedy club where Larry gives his dadaist version of a stand-up routine.

Responses on social media seem to be a mix of awe and absolute terror. "[W]ow they finally invented hell," tweeted @toomanysnipers. "I fear this is where the singularity will be born and the earth will be taken over by a digital George Costanza," joked @kevinely. Another Twitter user, @miujen_, wrote "The future of movies and TV will certainly be in the hands of AI and metaverse. Who wants to watch them?"

The show certainly sets up the possibility that AI-generated entertainment could become commonplace in the future. Still, artificial intelligence has a bit more to learn about how to tell a joke, how to keep a story coherent, and how human hands work. So, for now, it doesn't seem like AI-generated content is going to put human television writers out of work just yet.