Okay, so the possibility of a new Friends series being made is pretty slim, and although most of the cast has come together to celebrate the work of James Burrows, don’t hope for a full-blown reunion. However thanks to one computer using a recurrent neural network, a completely new episode of Friends has been written, and it’s an odd one.
Webcomic artist Andy Herd has done something pretty fantastic, especially for Friends fans. By loading every single Friends script into a computer, using an RNN, which works by “predicting the next letter to follow a given sequence of letters, and the predictions are determined by what it learned about language from the Friends dialogue provided.” It managed to write a completely new script for the show.
Due to the nature of the program, Herd had to run the RNN for 12 hours before it stopped babbling and started to produce something coherent, which he shared with us in a number of bizarre screenshots:
i fed a recurrent neural network with the scripts for every episode of friends and it learned to generate new scenes pic.twitter.com/RIPvYuzEJM
— Andy Pandy (@_Pandy) January 18, 2016
Yeah, it honestly makes no real sense, but just read through it with everyone’s voices. In a weird way, it kinda works, right?
Fortunately Herd is going to continue to work on his Friends Bot, which makes use of Google’s artificial intelligence engine, TensorFlow, which the company made open source last November, eventually, once it gets more intelligent, he may release it to the public.
“I’ve been reading up about machine learning in my spare time lately because it’s really fascinating,” said Herd. “I honestly don’t understand a lot of the underlying mathematics, but I’m trying! Also, Satan helped a bit.”