By Sam Haysom
British YouTuber Tom Scott has such a distinctive style to his videos that they can — and have — lent themselves quite well to parody in the past, both from humans and AIs alike. But for his latest video, Scott decided to use this to his advantage.
After getting access to OpenAI’s GPT-3 text generator, Scott fed it a large number of his previous video titles to see if it could come up with some new and original story ideas for him. And after a few false starts with titles that were either too boring or nonsensical, it ended up nailing it.
“GPT-3 has a setting called Temperature, which is basically how predictable it should be,” explains Scott in the video above. “If I turned the Temperature down too low, it just repeated existing video titles over and over back to me — too high and I got ideas like ‘Jeremy Clarkson’s Lottery of Death,’ which I swear was a genuine suggestion that it gave me and which I assume will be coming to Amazon Prime next year. But when I got the Temperature right, it did actually suggest some real places.”
Scott then explains that the AI ended up suggesting a video idea that he’d already filmed, but which hasn’t been released yet, as well as some other strong ideas for videos outside the UK.
“But the most interesting category of suggestion was the one where the AI came up with videos that I would love to make, but which are completely fictional. Because of course it would — it doesn’t understand any of the words, it’s not checking to see if they’re true. It’s just looking for patterns.”
Examples include “The White Cube at the End of the World” and “The Strange Light that Floats Over Oxfordshire,” which Scott uses some cute little animations to illustrate before reading out an actual script that the AI generated for another video titled “The Dream of a Russian Utopia in East Yorkshire.” It’s completely fictional, but the style is terrifying plausible.
“There’s a reason that the company, OpenAI, is putting limits and ethical guidelines on its text generator,” concludes Scott. “Because they’re the only things stopping people from asking for human sounding political arguments, or fake angry customer reviews, or, well…anything.”