Human men are very bad at generating pickup lines — Girl, you must be tired, cuz you’ve been running through my mind all night — so it should not surprise us that a robot man can do a better job. And it has: Research scientist Janelle Shane decided to feed a computer a bunch of shitty one-liners and see if it spun them into sweet-talk gold.
Writing at her Tumblr Lewis and Quark, Shane explains that she trained a neural network framework to write pick-up lines based on the success she had doing the same thing with other subjects, such as machine-generated recipes and superhero names (great examples from that experiment include superhero names Red Fart and Green Hooter II). She admits she had to read a bunch of sleazy lines — enough to make her temporarily regret the project — to give it a foundation from which to woo, but perseverance paid off. Shane writes:
But although the neural network figured out the basic forms “You must be a … because….” or “Hey baby, wanna…” it never learned to generate the worst lines — most of these were based on wordplay that it didn’t have a chance of reproducing.
Instead, it began to generate lines that varied from incomprehensible to surreal to kind of adorable.
Here are the top 10 lines that won my heart:
I want to get my heart with you.
You are so beautiful that you know what I mean.
If I were to ask you out?
You must be a tringle? Cause you’re the only thing here.
I don’t know you.
I have to give you a book, because you’re the only thing in your eyes.
Are you a candle? Because you’re so hot of the looks with you.
I want to see you to my heart.
Are you a camera? Because I want to see the most beautiful than you.
You look like a thing and I love you.
Taken together, these are weird and wonderful lines that read like they might be spoken by an ESL speaker at best and an invading alien at worst. Still, with all the sweetness and none of the sleaze to be found here, it’s clear this robot’s heart is in the right place, even if its syntax is not. Which is why I, personally, am now deeply in love with it.