See What Happens When an AI Program Creates New (Mostly Nonsensical) Memes

David Livingston/Getty Images
David Livingston/Getty Images

Viral fame is hard to manufacture. Even if you think you've found the most baffling stock photo, or the perfect Spongebob screen-grab, there's no guarantee the internet will elevate it to meme-status. This hasn't stopped a new tool from attempting to crack the formula. As WIRED reports, This Meme Does Not Exist takes popular meme formats and generates new text to go along with them.

The combinations the meme maker churns out can be hilarious, but maybe not in the way the creators intended. The distracted boyfriend meme has been updated with the title dude labeled "Christmas presents" checking out a woman labeled "OMG." An excited Oprah now hands out pointers and a piece of paper, and Leonardo DiCaprio is toasting to "the Star Wars movie about the article 13 you seen the past the way." If you refresh it enough times, you'll eventually get a meme that's at least coherent, but most of them are random word jumbles.

The text is pulled from roughly 100 million captions that were fed into the meme generator's AI program. Users can choose from 48 classic meme templates, with each image having 20,000 captions that can potentially appear with it. That means there are 960,000 possible memes waiting to be viewed by anyone with hours of free time to waste online. If the tool does anything, it proves that making something the internet will love isn't as easy as it looks.

Though the meme cycle changes as quickly as everything does online, This Meme Does Not Exist mainly sticks to well-known formats that have been around for years. That means the captions are written in the Impact font that helped make memes iconic in the first place. Here's a brief history of how the old font found new life on the web.

[h/t WIRED]

Wednesday’s Best Amazon Deals Include Computer Monitors, Plant-Based Protein Powder, and Blu-ray Sets

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Amazon
As a recurring feature, our team combs the web and shares some amazing Amazon deals we’ve turned up. Here’s what caught our eye today, December 2. Mental Floss has affiliate relationships with certain retailers, including Amazon, and may receive a small percentage of any sale. But we only get commission on items you buy and don’t return, so we’re only happy if you’re happy. Good luck deal hunting!

Never Got a Snoopy Sno-Cone Machine as a Kid? You Can Still Buy One This Holiday Season

LUCKYPENNY VIA YOUTUBE
LUCKYPENNY VIA YOUTUBE

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Even as toys have gotten more complex in recent decades, one low-tech item has held a perennial spot on holiday wishlists. The Snoopy Sno-Cone Machine was a hit when it debuted in 1979, and kids and nostalgic adults can still get their hands on one this December.

People who grew up in the 1980s may remember commercials promoting the “yum-yum fun” plastic appliance. Like the Easy Bake Oven and the Frosty Sno-Man Sno-Cone Machine before it, the Snoopy Sno-Cone Machine allowed kids to make edible treats at home. The Peanuts branding made the toy popular with kids, and despite the elbow grease required to crank a couple of ice cubes into shaved ice, it's stuck around.

If you asked for a Snoopy Sno-Cone Machine for the holidays as a kid and never received one, you can still make your childhood dreams come true. The retro product is available practically unchanged from how it appeared in the 1980s. The biggest changes are that the hand crank is now easier to turn and there's a clamp for stabilizing the machine while you use it. Get one for yourself or a loved one from Amazon today for $30.

Looking for more nostalgic gift ideas? Here are some items the Millennials in your life will love.