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.)

Photo by Khamkéo Vilaysing on Unsplash