From part of the conclusion:
"Indeed, one of the appeals of the Weird AI Yankovic, if there are in fact any, is
seeing the train wreck of text that is output and deriving delight in the close-but-not-quite-sensical
results. Weird AI Yankovic is a case study in design trade-offs—when to handle failure modes and
when to permit failures—where improvements that reduce the likelihood of failed outputs also make
the outputs “safer” but also less interesting."
For once, blind people using screen readers have an advantage. :)
Surely even if blind from birth they'd at least want to touch embossed prints to feel the shape of characters? On the other hand I suppose there's not much of a need to memorize them?
That's an interesting definition of "lyrics parody" - interesting in that it
ommits the most obvious component of lyrics parody, in that the replacement
must result in a, well, parody. Of the original.
For example, take the result listed in table 1 in the paper, where the
original lyrics of Micheal Jackson's "Beat It" are parodied by Weird Al
Yankovic (with a lower-case "L") and the paper's system (Weird AI Yankovic,
which an uppercase "i"). Jackson is first, Weird Al is second, Weird AI is
They told him don't you ever
come around her
Don't want to see your face, you
The fire's in their eyes and their
words are really clear
So beat it, just beat it
How come you're always such a
fussy young man?
Don't want no Captain Crunch,
don't want no Raisin Bran
Well, don't you know that other
kids are starving in Japan?
So eat it, just eat it
The best part is that each taco
contains a small
To medium sized piece of sliced
I don't think the food in question
I promise, just promise
But maybe this is a bit of a joke and I missunderstand it? I have been told
that I miss a humour module, at times, so maybe it's my fault for
misunderstanding why this system is interesting? "It generates nonsensical
language that rhymes, surely that's an achievement", that sort of thing.
Oh, apparently the author contemplates a fart mode, following user
suggestions. Maybe I really am misunderstanding this.
Maybe all of arxiv is really a big joke and I'm just not in on it.
All the GPT-3 stuff we've been seeing shows that generative models can generate text in the style of the inspiration text, with the topic of your choice. So that part "GPT-3, write me 300 words on the Amish people in the style of this text by Coolio" is kind of solved. But it wouldn't rhyme.
But now we have a generative text model that knows how to rhyme. Combine it with being on-topic and stylistically correct and get your "good" parody.
OK, how do I do that? What do I do differently than the author of the paper?
So read it, just read it.
This is halfway like the Max Martin trick for songwriting. The apocryphal story is that this Swede who wanted to write pop songs in English didn't worry too much about the words and paid more attention to how they fit the melody. That's why the lyric to "I Want It That Way" parse a little funny. I know he's very intentional about syllables, but I'm not sure how much I believe the story--his English is actually really good.
Or you could say it's the Paul McCartney "Scrambled Eggs" approach. "Yesterday" might be the greatest parody ever.
In any case, you seem to be a bit conflicted on the meaning yourself, first demanding it meaningfully interact with the text of the original, and then relaxing the condition to the work only needing to be funny.
These are actually two rather orthogonal conditions: being funny or not is largely a matter subjective opinion, while interacting with the original text is something that can be more objectively decided by text analysis. And both conditions of course completely ignoring the musical aspect.
Regarding the meaning of parody, the link you provide continues as follows:
Although the intention of a musical parody may be humour (as in burlesque), it is the re-use of music that is the original[vague] defining feature.
In music, parody has been used for many different purposes and in various musical contexts: as a serious compositional technique, as an unsophisticated re-use of well-known melody to present new words, and as an intentionally humorous, even mocking, reworking of existing musical material, sometimes for satirical effect.
Examples of musical parody with completely serious intent include parody masses in the 16th century, and, in the 20th century, the use of folk tunes in popular song, and neo-classical works written for the concert hall, drawing on earlier styles. "Parody" in this serious sense continues to be a term in musicological use, existing alongside the more common use of the term to refer to parody for humorous effect by composers from Bach to Sondheim and performers from Spike Jones to "Weird Al" Yankovic.
So there are other uses of "musical parody" than to satirise (in Greek, "parody" means roughly "changed song") but the name of the system I'd say predisposes one to expect a humorous twist.
But of course I'm not surprised that I have to defend my interpretation of parody in the above paper. It is so, so confusing.
Edit: no, wait- so we agree that the parodies generated by the system in the article are not humorous? They are nonsensical and they rhyme, but they are not funny? In that case- why are they nonsensical in the first place? What is the point of a nonsensical parody if it is not humour? Am I really the one demanding a very strict definition of "musical parody", or is the author deliberately allowing a too-general definition, in order to make their system look like it's doing something it really, really isn't?
I apologise for revealing my deeply unfunny self in this thread.
Not sure why the authors don't include these URLs in the paper. Working, open code is a major plus for a research paper. I had to track this down manually.
For the disappointed, there was a nice NYT piece on Weird Al the human a few months ago, which had some details on his songwriting process: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=22861977
I wonder how long it'll be before that distinction needs to be made on a more regular basis.
"Barbara Walters the human not the Markov Chain base AI"
Prompt: You cannot touch this
And and and and should not touch this again
Do not touch to the tongue
The person in question
And no one trying indigestion
Do it in anger because they
Should not touch the tongue say it ye and yea.
I said unto you
And if anything, uh, you pursue.
cat /dev/random > /dev/stdin
if [ self control < affection ]; then
I love it
Okay but, keep in mind that just because someone doesn’t have the same humor that you do, doesn’t mean that they don’t have any humor.