Ask Metafilter, and questions generated by the neural net

How do I stop this male?

I trained an A.I.* to Ask MetaFilter: it turned out part funny, part heartbreakingly human.

Last time, I trained a neural net to come up with British placenames and it was pretty funny (Batchington Crunnerton and Ponkham Bark, anyone?).

After the success of the British placenames experiment, I was looking for another large dataset that might produce something thought-provoking or at least interesting.

Ask Metafilter (AskMeFi) is a sister site to ur-online community weblog Metafilter. Launched in 2003, AskMeFi lets members to ask questions without requiring a traditional link-based blog post.

Over time, other well-known community question/answer sites popped up: Yahoo! Answers, launched in 2005 and famous for “how is babby formed”, and Quora, launched in 2010, that latter of which is, shall we say, a bit like the LinkedIn of question and answer sites.

But, because AskMeFi let people ask questions anonymously and inherited its sister’s strong, human moderation approach, it’s turned into an impressive collection of the things people care about.

The questions and answers are like a raw distillation of humanity. They expose what we have in common that we imght not realise. Our hopes, our fears, our loves. So: a recurrent neural net would read 14 years of posts, and I’d ask it to write new ones.

What would it learn? What would it ask?


  1. Grab the infodump of Ask Metafilter post titles
  2. Use torch-rnn on Amazon’s EC2 and play around with the model training settings, leave it running for about half a day.
  3. Generate a whole bunch of questions
  4. Pick the best ones and paste them below (centaur style).

I’ve put the data, trained torch-rnn models and sampled output in a Github repo.

The questions also ended up prompting a short story:

Click through for the thread, apparently some people really liked it.

OK, you’re here for the questions. Here they are!

Neural network generated Ask Metafilter questions

“I am library, how do I do?”

How do I get my own sexual snacks?

Good dummies for my boyfriend?

How do I get my body even?

How do I get my Mac party back.

Fictional travel question

How do I get the cake?

Help me find a meat.

“Oh no! That’s all in my boyfriend. “

“What to do about “”work”” and a “”feminist”” and “”disaster”””

Life insurance for early sexism in NYC

Cheap Beef Wedding Certificate

Help me find a male from a strip distance

What do I need to know about vegetarian singers?

How to break up with dishwasher please

What does it mean to be a little bird?

Looking for an attractive accountant

I don’t want to look at my childhood

Stuck in an adult television stand in the middle of the Paris

Are there any vegetarian foods in bed?

I’m sorry for the crappy monkey

Dental Karaoke Insurance

How do I stop being dead for my dog?

How to become a better cat for the best internet?

Can I replace a bad man’s song?

Suggestions for stealing paint resources?

Help me choose a digital pillow.

The case of the disappearing conversation in the New York City

Do I have to have my dog be so hard?

Help me get the mysterious library to my sister

How do I get rid of my job at my social networking site?

Where can I get rid of a 5?

Help me find a baby version of my dishwasher

Resources for complete discrimination

How do I get my boss on my tortoise?

How can I make my email socialist?

A man for my face again?

How can I make a professional husband from my cats?

“The lady is a joy, but I can’t stand him anymore.”

What is the best way to buy a long-term relationship with my feet?

I want to be a little brain.

My cat is in the magic lines.

How can I fix this man?

What does it mean to be a book?

Help me find a kid’s book for my couch.

Am I being a lawyer?

How do I make a better manager for my dog?

How can I stop being pretty in my computer?

How to get a contract and sex in Washington DC?

What is the best way to get a bang for a friend?

Triangle Browser for my cat

How do I stop being a therapist?

Why does my cat call me if I live in the dark?

My friend is a woman but she’s a little beet and I feel so hard.

How do I stop this male?

Simple Restaurant War Computer School Stories?

Problem in Dance

How to find a dead builder

Is this food for my email?

Help me plan my deaths in New York?

How can I get a Laser Problem

How do I deal with my men’s points?

How to kill odors in my friend

How do I prevent healthy email?

How can I be food?

I want to be a shower?

What do I do with my shower.

I want to be a good shower

How do I stop being a therapist?

“I don’t want to be a dog, and I want to be a good webcam?”

Best practices for a bully to pee for my cat.

Sprits. Dinner??

How do I stop a creative situation with my laptop?

The sun is still happy to me.

Any experiences in NYC with a restaurant?

What’s a good book on bridesmaid methods for a man with an adult?

What to do with an adult who is too long?

Here’s a bunch of shyness.

Need a new soul and a new phone in the World War

I need a bigger booth

Best source for dealing with cat interviews?

What should I do with my dreams?

Help me find the best doctor for the black inside

Password survival in Seattle

“Can you recommend a phone to bring to a wedding in San Francisco, Agent?”

Am I a Dog?

Help me make a book about losing my internal hardware

Where can I find a drinking poem about a river?

How do I get a professional long distance company for my kitten?

How to sell my best friend who has everything?

What is the best credit card for my wife?

My computer is too much

How does one become a book on the internet?

“I know how to fix a girl, now what?”

How do I stop my friends?

How do I best prepare for a postage smell?

A Performance is not a relationship

How do I stop rural conditions with an ex?

Help me find a cheap bacon for non-profit organizations

Missing British Army

How can I stop worrying about our feelings?

What is the proper man who has everything?

Are there any really long time spaceships in DC?

Where can I get a tattoo in a long-term relationship?

More sexual abuse and personal gift ideas wanted.

What was this weird sex toy with an older body?

“The First Dance, There is Sick, It’s Too Much.”

What is a house?

What should I do in a house?

Help me find a house with emotions?

My time to be a house?

“I want to be a house, please.”

I feel like a house

How to get over a problem with the House

How can I stop being a better house?

Can I leave my adult modem?

Any poems for a wireless network?

Books for a land of men

How do I be too much?

“My dog is sad, now what?”

Help me fix my therapist.

Can I see it?

Too much to an experience?

Cat Time Management self control disability


Yes, I know. A 512 neuron, 2 layer LSTM network trained on Ask Metafilter posts isn’t “artificial intelligence”.