back to article AI has automated everything including this headline curly bracket semicolon

This week's [article|column] comes to you fresh from our latest in automated journalism, The RegAIster. We hope [you|they] enjoy [it|them]. Thanks to [innovative|disruptive|fictional] technologies, it is now possible to template [news|features|columns] with tagged fields to present the [reader|commenter|aggregator] with [ …

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Most people do just speak in a mixture of idioms and clichés.

            I always did think that the illustrious Steve Bong had commissioned an AI to write his columns for him...

      1. jake Silver badge

        Re: Most people do just speak in a mixture of idioms and clichés.

        Herding the cats back into the worm can thru' the newly locked stable door is cost prohibitive, true.

  1. Unbelievable!

    TOO REAL - YouTube Link broken Mr Dabbs

    The link at the end of the article is broken. it just reads "Unavailable" when the play icon is clicked.

    1. Alistair Dabbs

      Re: TOO REAL - YouTube Link broken Mr Dabbs

      Fixed! Thanks.

    2. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

      Re: TOO REAL - YouTube Link broken Mr Dabbs

      If only the Dabbmeisters[1] powers extended to breaking YooToobe..

      (Although it has to be said, Mrs COCM seems to find it useful for new sock-knitting techniques. And similer outre craft-type explorations.). What a wild and exciting life we lead.

      [1] I still cringe when listening to late 80's Pendragon (but not for the reasons you think) when Nick calls the then-drummer[2] "drum-miester-general". Still, we were all young and foolish once. Some of us are no longer young.

      [2] Who, in a singularly unfortunate choice of name, was called Fudge Smith. At least according to Pikiwedia - so maybe a 50% chance of being correct. And no, my memory of those days isn't as clear as it might be..

    3. matthewdjb

      Re: TOO REAL - YouTube Link broken Mr Dabbs

      But not available where I live.

      1. John Presland

        Re: TOO REAL - YouTube Link broken Mr Dabbs

        WOT!? No VPN!?

  2. Alister
    Thumb Up

    Lush:- purveyor of shopping mall smells.

    Excellent summation, Mr Dabbs.

    1. Warm Braw

      Does anyone know a location where Lush is next to Subway? Do they cancel each other out?

      1. David 18

        Unfortunately the smell from Lush in my local shopping centre does nothing to blot out the revolting stench from Yo Sushi which permeates the whole centre.

    2. Alistair

      Lush:- purveyor of shopping mall smells sneezing fits.


    3. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

      Lush:- purveyor of shopping mall smells

      Or (at least to me): purveyor of 'bronchial-spasm inducing smells". One of those places that I have to hold my breath when walking past (much like the perfume counter in places like Boots or the customer services team here at 9am - before the clashing perfumes/aftershaves have had time to mellow..)

      1. CountCadaver Silver badge

        Ditto, I avoid Debenhams, because for some reason some muppet decided the best place for menswear is right next to the perfume counter where they spend all day spraying vast quantities of strong scents....

        Can;t use my dentists waiting room as they insist on having several spraying air freshners set to the most frequent spray interval in a room with no ventilation and no bigger than my kitchen (which barely bypasses "broom closet" - they get miffed when I tell them I can't use their waiting room - But we need to keep it smelling "fresh" - open a fooking window then.....not like the room doesn't have a massive one

        1. STOP_FORTH Silver badge

          @CountCadaver, they probably only use the spray when you are in there.

    4. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      I thank you commentards for reinforcing my avoidance of shopping malls. It's better to learn from other's mistakes.

  3. Neil Barnes Silver badge

    Funny thing...

    only the other day I received a robot spam which contained all the [thing|stuff|other stuff] metadata, it obviously having made a bid for freedom before going through the final pick-one chooser.

    1) generic message

    2) online thesaurus

    3) $$$...

    Or not, as the case may be.

  4. chivo243 Silver badge

    Sorry, this weeks installment is weak

    Did Dabsy even write any portion of this? I think|hope not,~ not one innuendo|pun|even slightly funny joke.

    Dabsy come back!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Sorry, this weeks installment is weak

      It's a punishment for spelling his name wrong...

      1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

        Re: Sorry, this weeks installment is weak

        A punishment issued before the offence, then, like the match report in the article.

        My head is spinning.

    2. Semtex451

      Re: Sorry, this weeks installment is weak

      @Chivo -Unfair Sir boo.

      It's not as easy as it looks, especially when you look back at the vast catalogue of El Reg published innuendo|pun| funny jokes|situations already used|covered|.

      1. chivo243 Silver badge

        Re: Sorry, this weeks installment is weak


        Point taken, however, making MadLibs isn't hard, even for a computer|Ai|Bi|BS! ok, I get it, as humans, we can remove adjectives(stupid fecking name for a word) from a sentence and insert another really funny|appropriate|timely adnoun{see better}{ref adverb}{def~modifying a noun}

        Wow this is really fun|annoying|AI

        1. jake Silver badge

          Re: Sorry, this weeks installment is weak

          "adjectives(stupid fecking name for a word)"

          It's from the Latin adjectivum, "that is added to". Not so fucking stupid now?

  5. JeffyPoooh

    'An Evil A.I.'

    Apologies to those that have seen it before.

    1. Anonymous Custard Silver badge

      Re: 'An Evil A.I.'

      You mean there's another kind possible in literature (or anywhere else for that matter)?

      1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

        Re: 'An Evil A.I.'

        The Moon is a Harsh Mistress has a nice AI. As does Speaker for the Dead (sequel to Ender's Game). I'm sure there are others, they were just the first two that popped into my head.

        1. JassMan

          Re: 'An Evil A.I.'

          And Ian M Banks' Culture series is also full of non Evil A. I.

          Although I suspect a few had run a bit off the rails.

          1. The Boojum

            Re: 'An Evil A.I.'

            You can add Obie from Jack Chalker's Well World series. Definitely one of the good guys | AIs.

            1. stiine Silver badge

              Re: 'An Evil A.I.'

              How would you classify the AI in "A World out of Time"?

  6. Kubla Cant


    Why is the JavaScript in the screen shot all in caps? It's case-sensitive. You could eccentrically decide to have your variables that way, but reserved words and global values like "window" won't work.

    1. DJV Silver badge

      Re: JavaScript

      Maybe the TV program/film makers didn't understand how to obfuscate properly!

      1. JassMan

        Re: JavaScript

        More likely their perception of computers hasn't moved on since the days when error messages were all in uppercase. Not because programmers liked to shout at you but because they had to compress all text and all uppers saved a bit in every byte.

        Some youngsters think it is fake news but once upon a time PCs had less than 1 M of memory. Yes M not G.

        1. Muscleguy

          Re: JavaScript

          My honours supervisor had a 516k Mac which had been upgraded to 1M. It had a 1M external which it sat on. The Department had a LISA as well. We were the first honours class to do our theses entirely in silico (before being printed out).

          My PhD thesis broke new ground: double sided printing.

        2. Long John Brass

          Re: JavaScript

          Less than a Meg? Yoof of today, don't even know you've been born.

          My first machine came with a Whopping 1K (1024 bytes). It was a grand day indeed when I could afford to upgrade the beast to a monumental 8KB (8192 bytes)

          1. Mage Silver badge

            Re: Whopping 1K

            Jupiter Ace. 1K RAM, Forth and a decent pacman.

            A bit too minimalist. Though I had one drive some test gear.

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: JavaScript

          Two bits. The PDP-8 had 12 bit words and therefore two characters of the Teletype set could be fitted into a word (Teletype IIRC had a 32 character keyboard one key being a "shift" ("stunt") key to give two character sets.)

  7. Kubla Cant

    Robot journalism and ethics

    For a hilarious (and very early - 1965), representation of AI in journalism and elsewhere, I recommend The Tin Men by Michael Frayn.

    To quote the blurb:

    Why not program computers to take over the really dull jobs that human beings have to do - such as praying and behaving morally? At the William Morris Institute of Automation Research they are doing just that.

    1. Daedalus

      Re: Robot journalism and ethics

      Roald Dahl got in early with "The Great Automatic Grammatizator" (1953).

    2. ItWasn'tMe

      Re: Robot journalism and ethics

      Isn't that what an electric monk is for?

    3. JohnGrantNineTiles

      Re: Robot journalism and ethics

      Good to see it's still in print; the main character was Echo4 which was intended to generate random click-bait style headlines and then write a story to fit. Probably still working for one of the red-tops.

  8. Hans Neeson-Bumpsadese Silver badge

    Sports reporting

    A friend of mine worked in the newsroom at a large regional radio station. One Monday he was compiling bulletins which would include reports from the previous Saturday's football. In error, he copied in a manager interview from a game that had taken place weeks previously, and that ran on air , every hour all day. Not a single person noticed.

    Just goes to show that at the end of the day, it's a game of two halves and if the boys do good then the other team are going home sick as a parrot.

    1. imanidiot Silver badge

      Re: Sports reporting

      Parrot you say? I'll tell you what's wrong with it, my lad. 'E's dead, that's what's wrong with it!

  9. Andytug

    Prior art

    As always, Douglas Adams saw it first - in HHGTTG he says that video recorders are used to watch programmes, thus freeing the user from the need to do so.....

  10. Daedalus

    Politics IRL

    Tony Hillerman, of Navajo mystery stories fame, wrote an early novel featuring a journalist covering state politics in the US. To make deadline, the journalist would routinely write up the result of a vote before it actually occurred, confident that he knew what the outcome would be.

    1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

      Re: Politics IRL

      One of the US papers did that in the 40s, ran the headline "Dewey Defeats Truman", the actual result was the reverse.

      1. STOP_FORTH Silver badge
        Black Helicopters

        Re: Politics IRL

        That's what they want you to think!

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Politics IRL

        That was because they conducted telephone interviews for a survey, forgetting that only the well off, mainly Repub voters had telephones.

  11. David 18

    Completing the circle

    I like that concept, AI bollox disappearing infinitely up it's own virtual arsehole in perpetuity.

    Dante's virtual 10th circle, reserved for purveyors of snake oil.

  12. dvhdr

    It's already upon us, and it wants to sell ads.

    I primed GPT-2 (via with some IT related text and it came back with this.

    Priming string: "We need to reboot one of our file servers to help the below issue. All file shares will be offline for around 15 minutes from 9.35am. Please save and close any files."


    "In addition to these issues this morning, an internet service issue, which had been causing the file servers to go offline also caused them to go grey again.

    All file shares are expected to be available by 3.30pm.



    For further updates on this story, we invite you to follow The Register's live blog here."

    1. David 18

      Re: It's already upon us, and it wants to sell ads.

      Well, I had a play on that site and I rather hope the "AI" in self driving cars is a little better.

      What a load of utter tosh!

  13. DJV Silver badge

    AI newsreporting

    I think that having my local newspaper company* employ AI technology couldn't make their reporting any worse than it already is - which is to say that it often reads like it's been composed by a nine-year-old and is guaranteed to contain typos that any wordprocessor will highlight without any difficulty.

    *Archant, if you must know.

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