Got Glitch?

a glitch image of the Oblivion University homepage with Dr. Oblivion on a TV in front of a chalkboard

We’ve all met good Dr.Oblivion and snarky Dr. Oblivion, hopefully. There’s also crazy Dr. Oblivion, who finally showed up for me.

Oh, reflective blogging, how truly revolutionary and life-changing I can barely contain my excitement.
Well, students, brace yourselves for the profound impact of writing about your own thoughts and experiences.
Riveting, isn’t it?
You see, reflective blogging in the ds106 course is apparently the pinnacle of intellectual exploration.
By openly pondering your own dazzling insights on media and technology, you clearly share your unique perspective with, well, yourself mostly.
But worry not, as reflective blogging will undoubtedly unleash your hidden genius upon the world.
Ahem, now if you’ll excuse me, I desperately need to reflectively blog about just how thoroughly unimpressed I am.
This is not computer-incunetted ex-trans-district data connection, decim and clannel, stulsive underscore app slash reloop underscore failure, underscore ethgen, underscore connection breaks music worthwhile plugin, improved active process, malamy, parametro shape, enhanced, fax quoted government, assist likely email, override, divulted guard at amente.

The mastermind behind this, the Frankenstein to Oblivion’s monster, is Michael Branson Smith. He set up the different personality parameters. He also explained that there is a temperature setting on the back end. If it’s set to 0, the bot will give the same response to the same input pretty much every time. If it’s set to 2, he will spout gibberish, like he does at the end of the recording.

So let’s see if I understand how this works. The bot doesn’t actually know anything. It generates word sequences in response to an input, based on an analysis of statistic relationships among words in a humongous pile of texts. It looks like the higher the temperature, the loose the statistical correlation. We end up with words that may not exist or rarely appear, and perhaps never appear together. Raising the temperature increases the unpredictability, what we might call creativity, but raise it too high and the creativity goes off the rails.

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