Machine learning algorithms can uncover complex patterns in the data they see, making them useful for image recognition, predicting customer service questions, or recommending movies. They can even do a decent job at naming craft beers, kittens, or guinea pigs. But one thing it turns out they’re bad at? Understanding what humans find sexy.
I had my first sign that this was a problem when I trained a neural network to generate new Halloween costumes and saw its attempts at the “sexy” category of names - it came up with ideas like Sexy Gargles, Pretty zombie Space Suit, and Sexy the Spock. So when Scarlett O'Hairdye contacted me saying they were putting together an AI-themed burlesque show (yes you read that right), and asked me to train a neural network to generate possible names for the show… I knew the neural network was going to be in for a confusing time.
Now first let me talk about burlesque. If you’re not familiar with it, think feather boas, ruffled skirts, and fishnet stockings. These days, themed burlesque shows are all the rage, with names like “That Ass, Poor Yorick” “Star Trek: The Sexed Generation” and “Burl-X Files”. Scarlett provided me with 450 examples of existing shows and yes, the neural network proceeded to get very confused.
One thing it tried was making up words that sounded to it like sexytimes. It made no sense, but it was strangely adorable.
Booky Ampitions - A Stravaganza
Starstox! A Burlesque 2
Booms A Shagack!
Holiday Fishing Glasties off!
Moosters, A burlesque tribute
Homper Gurder Burlesque Show
Show! Thag Ag After Dark
if Mongerland Bonshows of thong Yes of Nevering Eightthows!
MACTAON! A Nighty Boosh Burlesque!
“Thawls of Vinderland II - A Burrrrs?! Burlesque Revue”
The Sexed Garks of Burlesque Adventure
Sometimes the sexy-sounding words it generated were already other words. For some reason it was trying hard to make vases sexy. It has an even harder task ahead of it with its other favorite words, “warts” and “fart”.
My 2017 Farty Burlesque Adventure
Vase Burlesque Revue
The Warts of Burlesque!
The Wonderland - March of Farty Fundraiser
Teaks of Fame Legends
Tree! A Burlesque Revue
Sticker Burlesque Burlesque Show
The Pans of The Panners Burlesque Revie
The Adomic Eso Space Scream Show
The Hare and the Rare and the Mar Chas Burlesque Revue
Farty Fasties: A Burlesque Show
The Rank Show
Vase & Show
The Stripper Stripper Dave Burlesque Show
Adventure To Burlesque Came Farts of Burlesque Revue
Seattle Burlesque Show & Tangy Future and Warty For the Blue Door
Here I think it was trying to spell “boobs” or maybe “bombshells” but had a bit of an issue.
Burlesque Bonbs and Constray Burlesque Borbshells
Burlesque Borbs and Monstrous Burlesque Show
Other times it got the words right, but used them rather… unskillfully.
Sex Your Eye Out!
The Parts and Burlesque Revue
The Sexed Show
The Pank: A Burlesque Revue
Peepsing Tarts Burlesque Show
A Hot Care Show!
Well New Cheapless!
The Sexies of Burlesque Revue
The Hand Show
Burlesque Show About Your Peek Show
Derrierer: A Burlesque Show
Cone With 9s Cabaret Derriere
The Pants of Fame Burlesque Adventure
And the name that was chosen? May I present to you the first-ever AI-themed burlesque show:
If you are lucky enough to be in Seattle, WA on July 21, 2018 (and are over 21), you can experience some of the strangest sexytimes that technology has to offer. Tickets!