Welcome to Declassified, a weekly humor column.
In the words of a former boss: “We could automate your job.”
That is of course nonsense. There’s no way even the most sophisticated software could come up with a list of offensive nicknames for Donald Trump — including “mangled apricot hell beast” — in a little under a week, so I’m safe. But such programs are now playing a bigger and bigger — and dumber and dumber — role in society and politics.
You may have seen this week what is perhaps the low point of European politics (with the high point being that Hungarian MEP caught fleeing a lockdown-breaking gay orgy, which will one day be commemorated with a massive statue in Brussels’ Grand Place), when Green MEP Daniel Freund and Hungarian government spokesperson Zoltán Kovács wrote raps (yes, raps) slamming each other using the chatbot ChatGPT.
The exchange was every bit as terrible as you would imagine. Freund’s rap about Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán featured the couplet “From football clubs to luxury castles, Orbán’s empire is built on scams and hustles.”
Kovács’ response was no better despite the rhyming of “Bundestag” with “swag” — and even that was spoiled by Freund being an MEP, not a German MP, and therefore not sitting in the Bundestag.
How long before we start seeing official documentation created using AI? Will the press team at the European Council simply now type the phrase “come up with EU summit conclusions that contain multiple references to ‘stakeholders’ and ‘actors’ and other nonsensical terms” into ChatGPT? Actually, that may have already happened.
And there’s likely to be a lot more of this kind of thing now that Google is getting in on the act with the launch of its own chatbot called Bard — rumors that TikTok is launching its own chatbot in Europe called Barred were unconfirmed at the time of going to press.
Not created using artificial intelligence was this week’s incredible footage of Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping meeting in Moscow in what can only be described as an unnecessarily large room and next to what can only be described as ABSOLUTELY MASSIVE FLAGS (and fair play to the Twitter wag behind the comment “huge red flag”). Compared to this room, the enormous table that Putin sits at when he has guests looks positively normal, like something from Ikea.
And no one is going to convince me that in at least one of the state rooms of the Kremlin there isn’t a trapdoor that sends the unwitting guest plummeting into a swimming pool containing a single, man-eating shark.
“And we have a late entrant in the ‘lying to parliament about lockdown-breaking parties’ 100 meters dash.”
Can you do better? Email [email protected] or on Twitter @pdallisonesque
Last time we gave you this photo:
Thanks for all the entries. Here’s the best from our postbag — there’s no prize except for the gift of laughter, which I think we can all agree is far more valuable than cash or booze.
“No, I asked for tulips, not two lips,” by Fred Myers
Paul Dallison is POLITICO‘s slot news editor.