AI-Generated Seinfeld Parody Is Halted Over Trans Jokes

'Nothing, Forever' is suspended on Twitch, as creators blamed a content-filter glitch
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 3, 2023 2:30 PM CST
Updated Feb 7, 2023 9:10 AM CST
UPDATE Feb 7, 2023 9:10 AM CST

A parody of Seinfeld generated by artificial intelligence and intended to run endlessly on a Twitch stream has been stopped in its tracks because of transphobic lines. On Monday, the Jerry-like animated character in Nothing, Forever likened being trans to having a mental illness, among other lines, and Twitch pulled the plug for at least two weeks, reports TechCrunch. Its creators apologized and blamed a glitch in the content filter. "First, let me say that the text we generated was a mistake, we are super embarrassed, and that the generative content created in no way reflects the values or opinions of our staff," wrote co-creator Skyler Hartle in an email. "We very much regret this happened and hope to be back on the air soon, with all the appropriate safeguards in place."

Feb 3, 2023 2:30 PM CST

An AI-generated parody of Seinfeld has been running nonstop on a Twitch stream since Dec. 14—and as its name suggests, Nothing, Forever could continue generating content indefinitely. It features blocky, animated versions of Jerry, George, Elaine, and Kramer moving around their apartments, interspersed with Jerry's AI-generated standup routines, Mashable reports. It's a "show about nothing, that happens forever," the Twitch page says. "Kinda like popular sitcoms of the past, except that it never stops." The page says, "Everything you see, hear, or experience (with the exception of the artwork and laugh track) is always brand new content, generated via machine learning and AI algorithms."

In a Reddit post one of the creators explained that it started out as a sitcom parody "done in the style of '90s point-and-click PC games," and the "dialogue, speech, direction (camera cuts, character focus, shot length, scene length, etc), character movement, and music" is AI-generated. Co-creator Skylar Hartle tells Vice the "weird, very, off-center kind of nonsensical, surreal art project" evolved over the years. "And then, of course, generative media and generative AI just kind of took off in a crazy way over the past couple of years."

The show is using GPT-3, OpenAI’s language model, "which becomes clear as the characters are often not looking at each other when they are talking and rarely make sense," Deadline reports. At the time of this writing, the AI-generated Jerry and George were discussing a trip to the store. The laugh track played when Jerry said he had bought a paintbrush set. But though the project appears far from ready for prime time, the neverending Seinfeld has some devoted fans, Mashable reports. "I can't stop watching. I can't stop. This is my life now," one viewer tweeted. "You have all lost me to AI-generated Seinfeld." (Read more Seinfeld stories.)

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