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Fifty Shades of Grey: Random Text Generator Spits Out Prose Uncannily Similar to the Real Thing

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Either the text found within Fifty Shades of Grey really is that simple and repetitive, or Skynet is about to take over.

A text generator created by an MIT engineer spits out random prose that bears an uncanny similarity to what you’ll find within the Fifty Shades trilogy written by E L James.

“My friend wanted to prove that [Fifty] Shades was so basic that a computer could write it so she did,” reads a post from a Reddit user who goes by the name Inri137.

Here’s an example:

“Suddenly, he pushes me against the desk. He’s pinning me to the desk using his hips, and my pulse is haywire. He runs his hands gently along my neck. I inhale sharply. I flush scarlet, humiliated and excited at the same time. Crap.”

That was, surprisingly, not a quote lifted directly from the trilogy.

How does it work? Well, according to developer Lisa Wray, “It is built on the Dada Engine by Andrew C. Bulhak, made famous by the Postmodernism Generator.

“The engine parses a ‘grammar’ file and turns it into a list of vocabulary and rules, then recursively evaluates the input, choosing randomly among options at each juncture,” she writes, adding that it “sounds easy, except that you have to write the grammar file. Essentially, you’re listing every tiny decision the engine needs to make so that the text comes out sounding like “[Fifty] Shades of Grey, and not, say, the Dalai Lama.”

If the explanation is a bit over your head, you’re not alone. Feel free to join us, though, in whiling the day away by refreshing the page over and over for a laugh (and to appease our robot overlords).

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