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Man uses computer to generate new episodes of 'Friends'

By Daniel Uria   |   Jan. 22, 2016 at 2:59 PM
| License Photo

DUNDEE , Scotland, Jan. 22 (UPI) -- A Scottish artist has rigged a computer program to automatically generate new scripts for the '90s television sitcom Friends.

Andy Herd of Dundee, Scotland put every script in the show's history into his computer as part of an experiment to learn about machine learning.The computer learned to recognize sequences in the scripts and eventually began to create its own.

"I fed a recurrent neural network with the scripts for every episode of friends and it learned to generate new scenes," Herd wrote on Twitter as he shared examples of the computer's work.

Herd told the Daily Beast that the computer generates scenes by predicting the next letter in a sequence based on the information provided by the Friends scripts.

The computer can quickly recreate the structure of a television script through this process, but the content likely wouldn't be suitable for the upcoming Friends reunion.

"It can generate stuff within minutes, but it's barely English," he said. "A lot of it is still nonsense."

The computer generated scripts contain some minor oddities including a scene that opens with Monica and Phoebe dancing in Monica and Rachel's apartment. They also include some entirely nonsensical word pairings such as a stage direction that read "All the dinner enters" and a line that had Monica exclaim "Chicken Bob!" after Chandler informs her that Phoebe liked his pants.

Herd speculated that his project could actually be valuable to television producers if he manages to fix these strange quirks.

"I reckon I could tweak this a bit and sell it to a network," he wrote on Twitter. "All I'd have to do is push a button and BAM, top quality sitcom fodder ready to go."

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