The Never Ending TV Show
This is the future of entertainment.
You’re going to think I’m crazy for saying this, but believe it or not, this is the future of entertainment:
These graphics might look like something from the stone age, but this is actually some cutting edge stuff.
What you’re looking at is a shot from a new show called “Nothing, Forever.”
The crazy thing about this show is that it never ends. It’s streams 24 hours a day, 7 days a week on Twitch.
And here’s something even crazier: the show is almost entirely generated by A.I.
Yes, everything from the script to the voices to the character movement and even the music is generated by A.I. algorithms. Only the artwork and the laugh track are created by humans— and even those might be AI-generated in the future.
“Nothing, Forever” is the brainchild of Skyler Hartle and Brian Habersberger, who started working on the show four years ago, well before the current A.I. craze.
They launched the show in December but it didn’t take off until earlier this month.
So, you might be wondering: what is this show even about? Well, it’s a parody of the hit 90’s sitcom, Seinfeld.
If you’ve ever seen Seinfeld, you know it’s a comedy that’s basically about nothing. You have a group of four friends who live in New York City and they get into funny situations in their day to day lives.
“Nothing, Forever” is kind of like that. The characters are modeled after Jerry Seinfeld and his friends and there really is no central plot or overarching storyline.
It’s just clips of the characters walking around and talking in various locations.
Watching “Nothing, Forever,” is a bizarre experience. Half the time, the characters look deformed, they bump into each other randomly and they say things that are nonsensical. But if you watch it long enough, the show does have moments that are legitimately funny.
Don’t get me wrong. This obviously isn’t a going to be the next hit TV show like Game of Thrones, Squid Game, or even the original Seinfeld.
But there’s still 192,000 people following this show on Twitch, which is pretty impressive.
To me, though, what’s significant isn’t the number of people watching “Nothing, Forever.” It’s the fact that we now have this show that’s literally designed to be on 24/7.
And not only is it on all the time, every scene of the show is made up of brand new content. When you see an interaction between two characters on “Nothing, Forever,” you know that that exact same interaction will never happen again.
It’s a completely new type of entertainment.
So as primitive and janky as “Nothing Forever” looks, I think it’s actually giving us a glimpse into the future.
Imagine a day when we have more powerful computers and artificial intelligence systems that can power AI-generated, never-ending shows that have really high-quality visuals and scripts.
They might be shows about nothing— like Seinfeld and “Nothing, Forever”— or they might be shows with intricate, ever-evolving storylines.
We might even get to the point where audience members can come together and influence these shows in some way.
That’s essentially the vision that Nothing, Forever’s creators have. They have plans to build a platform that others can use to create similar AI-generated shows in the future, and audience participation is a key part of their vision.
Personally, I’m excited to see where this goes, but it’s also kind of unsettling.
I'm not sure how I feel about the idea of us being on the brink of consuming a lot more AI-generated content, even if it's really good or entertaining.
It feels like we could eventually lose that human touch that we’re used to in our content, and that’s kind of a sad and scary thing.
That’s especially the case because without human input, AI-generated content can sometimes go off the rails.
In fact, a coupe of weeks ago, “Nothing, Forever” was suspended by Twitch for two weeks after the show’s main character, Larry Feinberg, made some transphobic and homophobic comments in his standup comedy routine.
The comments, which violated Twitch’s Community Guidelines, were the result of technical issues with one of the A.I. models that generates the show’s dialogue: OpenAI’s GPT-3 Davinci model.
When that model temporarily went offline, the show switched to one of OpenAI’s less sophisticated models known as Curie, and it’s that model that generated the offensive comments.
As of today (February 26), the show is still offline, but it’s expected to come back online soon with more guardrails so this type of thing doesn’t happen again.
Like I said, I have mixed feelings about this, but regardless of whether you or I like this new type of media, I think the wheels are in motion and it’s only a matter of time before we see a lot more of these shows.
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