Welcome to the future. A time when apps can tell you how far you’ve walked, if your spouse is ‘just not that into you,’ and where a computer can create content.
At least, that was our experiment. The premise: could we give our robot author, Chip, some basic instructions, and ask for it to compose an intelligent piece of prose about Montana? As we found out…the answer is: Kinda? (Chip stands for Computerized Human Interface Program.)
Read below the methodology we used to give the computer the task at hand. A lot of it didn’t make sense, but it is truly hilarious. Nice try, Chip! Here is Chip’s computer-generated story about Montana written in 30 seconds:
1. Welcome to Montana!
2. This is why we live here.
3. Because Montana is simply the best place on earth.
4. In Montana, you’re basically living in a dream.
5. There’s nothing in the world like a Montana sunset.
6. Montana will undoubtedly take your breath away.
7. There’s simply no place like home.
8. Mother nature here never disappoints.
9. Montana is home to the friendliest people in the country.
10. You won’t find a place with better views than this.
11. You’ll always be surrounded by friends in Big Sky Country.
12. This is home to some of the best architecture in the region.
13. Montana certainly has its share of divine brush strokes.
14. All of this combines to make Montana unforgettable.
15. Montana will expand your cultural horizons.
16. Montana is beautiful no matter what season it is.
17. You won’t find a better place in the country to raise a family.
18. You won’t find sights like this in just any old place.
19. Montanans are a different type of people.
20. A place is only as good as the people in it.
21. This is God’s Country.
22. Your heart will always yearn for Montana.
23. Big Sky Country is a well-kept secret.
24. It’s reasons like this that make Montana a truly special place.
25. Montana is captivating and spellbinding.
26. Montanans know what it means to be at home.
27. You’ll feel like it’s a place you’ve been searching for all your life.
28. This is country living at its finest.
29. You’ll think you’ve died and gone to heaven here.
30. There’s no place like home.
How a computer can be trained to create content
How did we do this? First, we generated a random set of 30 phrases that sounded poetic about living in Montana. Things like, “This is why we live here,” and “This place is a dream.”
Then, the computer inserted Montana into the phrases. So, ‘This is home to the friendliest people in the nation,’ became ‘Montana is home to the friendliest people in the nation.’
Thirdly, we randomly grabbed 30 images of Montana from Flickr using generalized search criteria. You can see the entire list of phrases Chip ‘asked for’ at the bottom of the post.
Finally, we asked Chip to randomly assign a phrase to an image.
What did we learn from this?
Chip is actually really smart. This wasn’t too far off, but when Chip missed the mark, it made for some LOLs! We have to say, we were impressed. Possibly one reason this wasn’t a complete disaster is that Montana and the Spanish word for mountain is Montaña. So, we randomly got a bunch of pictures of mountains back from Spanish Flickr accounts.
Here are the photo search phrases Chip used:
- Montana beautiful
- Montana sunset
- Montana mountains
- Montana animals
- Montana people
- Montana residents
- Montana University
- Montana houses
- Montana awesome
- Montana sunrise
- Montana pretty
- Montana winter
- Montana hiking
- Montana love
- Montana wedding
- Montana peaceful
- Montana roads
- Montana skies
- Montana adventure
- Montana culture
- Montana man
- Montana woman
- Montana child
- Montana amazing
- Montana fun
- Montana neighborhood
- Montana nature
- Montana cabin
- Montana happy