November 2014 // website
This project is utterly silly.
It started as an insult generator, from the observation many of us have made that uninspired insults can be formulaic. I started cataloging the formulae, and wrote them down in ruby. Testing it was unpleasant, because my program kept insulting me. Programming usually feels that way, but this was extra. So I changed the templates and started generating compliments instead.
Generative art has to surprise you at least a little, and my favorite surprise
was when I was generating compliments and piping them through
say, so my
actual laptop was spouting effusive nonsense at me through my speakers, and it
said: “You make me dance! On my grandmother’s grave.” This was right after my
actual grandmother’s actual funeral.
A much stripped-down version of this became the “You’re welcome” script for chatbots.
(You can still see the original insults in the source, if you want to look. I wouldn’t, though.)