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Dating after lockdown
Photography DocuSign, via Unsplash

These AI-generated pick-up lines are incredibly not hot

Get ready for June 21 with this neural network’s chaotic take on flirting

If all goes to plan (which it never does under a Tory government), England will finally leave lockdown on June 21. For daters, this means ditching the clunky Tinder flirting and FaceTime dates for... clunky IRL flirting and disappointing sex. Luckily, there’s a tool on hand to help guarantee success: AI-generated pick-up lines!

Writer and research scientist Janelle Shane has used four artificial intelligence neural nets to generate a handful of sexy chat-up lines. Taking inspiration from a previous project, where she trained a less sophisticated neural net to create pick-up lines – one of which inspired her new book, You Look Like a Thing and I Love You – Shane gave the GPT-3 language program variants the prompt: “These are the top pick-up lines of 2021! Amaze your crush and get results.”

Shane started with the “largest and most-competent” variant, called DaVinci, which gave pretty realistic one liners. These include what I’d say if I ever met Your Dad: “I’m losing my voice from all the screaming your hotness is causing me to do.” What Bella said to Edward at their wedding (I have never seen Twilight): “You have the most beautiful fangs I’ve ever seen.” And what you said to your dog everyday during lockdown: “I love you. I don’t care if you’re a doggo in a trenchcoat.”

Other highlights appear to be taken straight from @beam_me_up_softboi: “I will briefly summarise the plot of Back to the Future II for you”, “Wait, this beanie hat, is it fashionable?”, “You know what I like about you? Your… Long… Legs…”

Who’s this one about? He sounds hot: “You look like Jesus if he were a butler in a Russian mansion.”

Next, Shane used a smaller neural net called Curie, which, she says, “was actually the closest to depressing online pick-up line lists”. These include one which spelt my first name wrong: “Hello, my name is Natasha Dawson and I’m sure I’m a lot prettier than a picture of you on tin foil.” This actually quite poetic one: “I’m like the ice cream… You can keep me in the freezer for a while but then I melt.” And one that’s definitely been said at your local pub: “Hey, my name is John Smith. Will you sit on my breadbox while I cook or is there some kind of speed limit on that thing?”

An even smaller variant, called Babbage, generated some proper vibey pick-up lines. A personal favourite is: “I love you, I love you, I love you to the confines of death and disease, the legions of earth rejoices. Woe be to the world!” Another one is what every person wants to hear: “You’re looking good today. Want snacks?”

However, Babbage quickly got into the habit of explaining its pick-up lines instead of just generating them. Here’s a long and very bizarre one: “This line is used by buying a second date. One of the motivations of this line is to avoid the awkward subjectivity of asking someone what you have stolen out of their garden, tool shed, and somewhere else. You may say something like, ‘Hey, I’ve decided to steal your car and use it for a short trip from work’. This is a super casual yet shocking pick-up line.” OK?

Then, Shane says the smallest of the variants, Ada, “completely lost the plot”. Its pick-up lines read more like a Rupi Kaur poem:

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See all of Shane’s AI-generated pick-up lines here, and look back at AI’s absurd, trash memes here.