Have you heard about Change.org? It is an online site where people can submit petitions address to the government and private companies. It can also vote on other peoples petitions as long as it covers the pressing issues of today’s generation. Almost 1000 petitions are uploaded every day from forwarding cancer treatment for sick babies to less serious one such as the remake of Game of Thrones with a new set of writers. All of it demands attention from the receiving party.
If you check on the hundreds of petitions, you may find it very interesting. That is why a fascinated and curious person eyed the data and fed it into an AI system. The said AI generated its own set of petitions, and what comes next amused and surprised the world.
This idea originated from Janelle Shane, a research scientist in Optics, who used OpenAIs GPT-2 language generating system. GPT-2, as used by Vox before, offers state of the art performance on some essential tasks in language processing, writes decent poetry, and has countermeasures against spam, fraud and fake news. It is known to be one of the smartest AI systems, and after its release on its petitions, GPT became the funniest AI ever.
How does this GPT-2 come up with its petitions?
Shane used GPT-2 albeit (a scaled-down version) and fed it with petitions from Change.org. Then, she asked it to generate its petitions based on what it has learned. A total of 190,000 Change.org petitions were fed into a neural network — where the AI system strings together simple sentences.
The author also explained that the result is base on the learned knowledge about how words are used in sentences and how they relate to one another. However, it will also suggest things that aren’t in the training data sometimes.
So if you are curious, here are some of the petitions the AI has produced as issued by Vox Magazine.
- Help Bring Climate Change to the Philippines!
- Taco, Chipotle, and Starbucks: Bring Back Lettuce Fries
- Mr. Person: I want a fresh puppy in my home
- Sign Petition for Houstons New Fireworks to be Offensive
- If you think that Trump can get away with this, then you’re wrong because AI knows better:
- Donald Trump: Change the name of the National Anthem to be called the Fiery Gator
- Of course, others are for the benefit of animals:
- Dogs are not a thing!! Dog owners are NOT human beings!
- Unicorn: Stop breaking crab products!
- One Highway, Four Hens, Highway 1
- Everyone: Put the Bats on Youtube!
- But some of them are just too hilarious it melts your stress away:
- Theresa May MP: Stop the Pigeon Rally in Great Britain
- Anyone: Stop the use of the word shoe in a derogatory way
- Denny: Put one more black bee sweater on Em1nt du Poste
- Officials at Prince Alfred Hospital: Aurora to Tell The Company To Send a Baby to Mars!
And the winner piece goes to:
Dr. James Alexander: Make the Power of the Mongoose a Part of the Schools Curriculum
The results are amusing and fun, just like the AI system itself. Have you imagined yourself eating fries made out of lettuce? Hilarious as may seem, the original petitions were submitted to Change.org to address the pressing issues of the world and society as a whole. But thanks to the GPT-2 AI, these appeals will attract regulators and other lawmakers to start visiting the said website.
In a more profound sense, the way GPT-2 works is an example of an advanced AI technology. After being fed a text prompt or passage, it predicts the next words with the use of sophisticated new techniques that allow it to maintain more continuity in paragraphs that earlier language systems have been capable of. Modern machine learning systems are way too progressive beyond what Eliza and those early chatbots could do.
Shanes OpenAIs GPT-2 AI system only shows the growing relationship between humans and technology. From the very first chatbots, an automated system that can provide a conversation with human beings — an AI system that talks to humans — have played a significant role in our understanding of AI.
Today, you can talk to language AI systems that are a great deal more sophisticated. Shanes idea is just an example of how AI represents a fundamental transformation of the way human perceives learning systems. Believe it or not, AIs nowadays are capable of giving the world broad, general human-like capabilities.