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Quiz! Computer-generated recipe title, or misogynistic slur for women?

Robots love cooking!

Yesterday I ran across an amusing blog post from research scientist Janelle Shane who, just for the hell of it, has been “training this neural network to generate cookbook recipes by letting it look at tens of thousands of existing recipes.”

The recipes are pretty odd, as are the names the software picks for them, especially when Shane cranks up the “creativity” variable.

Here are a few that grabbed my attention:

  • Cream Of Sour Cream Cheese Soup
  • Artichoke Gelatin Dogs
  • Crockpot Cold Water
  • Chocolate Chocolate Chocolate Cake

Also yesterday, I ran across a horrifying post in the Incels subreddit in which the regulars attempted to come up with new pejorative terms for women. Oddly, many of the suggestions that weren’t completely obscene (“sperm garage”) or creepy (“future sex cadavers”) or just plain awkward (“the annoying, dumb, inferior pieces of flesh around the vagina that don’t invent or discover things”) ended up sounding, well, a bit like Shane’s computer-generated recipe titles.

So here’s a little quiz of sorts. I’ve mingled recipe titles from Shane’s neural-network experiment with anti-woman slurs from the Incels subreddit post. See if you can tell which are which!

  • Cheese Hog
  • Whole Chicken Cookies
  • Sausage Jockey
  • Meat Pockets
  • Salmon Beef Style Chicken Bottom
  • Completely Meat Circle
  • Squeal Pig
  • Roasties
  • Bunny Boiler
  • Cabbage Pot Cookies

Answers below!

In case you’re wondering, the neural-network-generated recipes will not actually produce anything resembling real food. The recipe for Greased Casserole with Slices of Lemon Juice, for example, requires a weird assortment of ingredients, including “1 cup cold boiled frosting,” “2 sprigs of bread,” and “1 sour and large fish.”

The instructions can be similarly baffling. One early recipe demanded that human chefs “bake until juice” and “sprinkle over skin greased with a boiling bowl.”

Things got even weirder when Shane plugged recipes into a neural network trained on H.P. Lovecraft, resulting in instructions like this:

Whip ½ pint of heavy cream. Add 4 Tbsp. brandy or rum to possibly open things that will never be wholly reported.

In a later experiment, she flipped the script, entering “phrases from Lovecraftian horror [into] an innocent neural network trained on 30MB of cookbook recipes,” which resulted in this almost perfect sentence:

Everything seemed to me tainted with a loathsome contagion, and inspired by a noxious alliance with the steamed chicken.

In conclusion, neural networks are fun. Certainly a lot more fun than incels.

ANSWERS: The computer-generated recipe titles are Whole Chicken Cookies, Salmon Beef Style Chicken Bottom, Completely Meat Circle, and Cabbage Pot Cookies. The rest are slurs for women.

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Chiomara
Chiomara
5 years ago

Everything seemed to me tainted with a loathsome contagion, and inspired by a noxious alliance with the steamed chicken.

Sounds like this bot ate too much of my food.

Weird (Encouraged by the RESISTANCE!!!!) Eddie
Weird (Encouraged by the RESISTANCE!!!!) Eddie
5 years ago

“roasties”?? “bunny boiler”???

I guess my misogyny isn’t up to understanding their humor… sorry*

*(not really sorry at all)

Axecalibur: Middle Name Danger
Axecalibur: Middle Name Danger
5 years ago

Completely Meat Circle

I actually did think that might be a slur for fat women. Wonder if that says more about me, computers, or incels…

Chiomara
Chiomara
5 years ago

@Eddie

Rosties refers to the labia. When they are bigish and have a brownish color on the tips, they kind of look like roast beef.

They think this happens when the woman has a lot of sex.

Alan Robertshaw
Alan Robertshaw
5 years ago

@ weird eddie

“Bunny boiler” comes from Fatal Attraction where Glenn Closes’s character does that to a rabbit.

As for the computer generated food; sounds like a Heston Blumenthal menu.
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Weird (Encouraged by the RESISTANCE!!!!) Eddie
Weird (Encouraged by the RESISTANCE!!!!) Eddie
5 years ago

Thanx, Chiomara!

What sad, small-minded people these are.

Troubelle: Moonbeam Malcontent + Bard of the New Movement
Troubelle: Moonbeam Malcontent + Bard of the New Movement
5 years ago

Coincidentally, I was considering finally getting around to reading Lovecraft’s works…

Man, this is cool. Neural networks are fascinating, dude.

Alan Robertshaw
Alan Robertshaw
5 years ago

@ troubelle

That’s a co-inkydink because I’ve literally just read my first Lovecraft story last night. It was on Varalys’ recommendation and I highly recommend the same. FWIW here’s my brief review for her blog.

Spoilers

Alan Robertshaw29 March 2017 at 14:27

Finally got hold of Mountains of Madness. Wow, not what I was expecting at all, but you keep recommending stuff, loved it.

See what you mean about how modern it is. For some reason I always imagine Lovecraft to have a Victorian/Edwardian vibe. Maybe because of that Gaiman story. But this could have been set in contemporary times (apart from we have explored the Antarctic a bit). You could film it with a modern setting though. Just such a surprise to have an aeroplane. I had visions of pith helmets and machetes. Which of course would be a bit daft down there.

But also it’s a real ‘trope maker’. How many films today have that ‘deciphering the wall art’ to get the backstory thing? Also I’m presuming that’s where we get ‘starfish aliens’ from?

It reminded me a lot of “Who Goes There”, the story that was adapted as “The Thing”. That’s probably deliberate. But what I particularly loved wad the fact that the story not only references “Arthur Gordon Pym” or seems to be set in the same ‘universe’. I love ‘AGP’. Not just because it eerily predicted that real cannibal case I’m fascinated by, but it’s also such a brilliant story and told so well. ‘Mountains’ is in the same vein, and basically a sequel.

Glad also to see someone else finds penguins a bit suspect. They’re cute and all. Until you imagine they’re at a fascist rally.

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Handsome :Punkle Stan: Jack

I actually got every answer but one wrong. I don’t know what that says about me.

Coincidentally, I was considering finally getting around to reading Lovecraft’s works…

I find Lovecraft kinda hard to read, not because it’s complicated but taking a shot every time “eldritch” is used kinda makes your vision a bit blurry.

iknklast
iknklast
5 years ago

Cheese hog? Does that mean some incel was infuriated when a woman ate all his cheese? Ate all the cheese available? Or ate a bit of cheese, which he thought would make her fat? Or do they assume all women like cheese?

If it’s something disgusting and perverted, please, don’t explain it to me. I don’t think I could take it right now.

Troubelle: Moonbeam Malcontent + Bard of the New Movement
Troubelle: Moonbeam Malcontent + Bard of the New Movement
5 years ago

@Alan

Didn’t read review, but still neat.

@Handsome Jack

Trivia: the dude was also racist and anti-Semitic. His wife was Jewish. This resulted in quite some reminders of that fact from her whenever he went off on a tangent.

(If memory serves, at least.)

He was had an aversion to sea life…and, well, if you think it’s terrifying, you write it terrifying.

Scented Fucking Hard Chairs
Scented Fucking Hard Chairs
5 years ago

The recipe for Greased Casserole with Slices of Lemon Juice, for example, requires a weird assortment of ingredients, including “1 cup cold boiled frosting,” “2 sprigs of bread,” and “1 sour and large fish.”

Fish-shaped crackers, fish-shaped candies, fish-shaped solid waste, fish-shaped dirt, fish-shaped ethylbenzene, pull-and-peel liquorice, fish-shaped volatile organic compounds and sediment-shaped sediment.

Scolar Visari
Scolar Visari
5 years ago

These recipes . . . I swear this what Agador Spartacus was reading from when attempting to cook in The Birdcage. There wouldn’t happen to be a recipe for huevo Guatemalan Peasant Soup in there, would there? I really want to see if the shrimps were part of it.

I’m also not sure what’s worse: That these insults are identical to what software can belch out after analyzing recipes with short term memory that would give Dory the blue tang fish a run for her money, or that they represent the breadth of manosphere anatomy ignorance and are actually meant to be insults. I’ve literally heard more offensive things on grade school playgrounds. For shame, manosphere, you’ve been foiled by children.

Given the latter, is it really too far fetched to think that self-described incels are simply aliens spies monitoring Earth who just don’t know how human anatomy works? I mean, they have the internet, so why do they get things so catastrophically wrong? Does intercourse on their planet really involve the use of slow cooked meats? Do they not have dirty magazines on their world? Do they use the internet solely for trolling?

Wait a second . . . This obsession, it reminds me of something . . .

Oh yeah, Ivanova tricked on of them on an episode of Babylon 5. It all makes sense now. That show really did have everything!

misophistry
misophistry
5 years ago

That neural network tickled my funny bone.

Alan Robertshaw
Alan Robertshaw
5 years ago

Trivia: the dude was also racist and anti-Semitic. His wife was Jewish. This resulted in quite some reminders of that fact from her whenever he went off on a tangent.

It’s funny that Nietzsche has been co-opted by Nazis when he actually fell out with his sister over her anti-Semitism. She was actually the one who edited and published his work post-mortem to make it more like her own views.

Handsome :Punkle Stan: Jack

@Troubelle

I always found it weird he married Jewish, honestly.

But he also died penniless from I think stomach cancer in his 30s after driving away all his friends with all his phobias and being a complete ass about pretty much everything.

It’s funny that Nietzsche has been co-opted by Nazis when he actually fell out with his sister over her anti-Semitism.

What is the POINT OF ANTI-SEMITISM, ELIZABETH? IT IS MEANINGLESS.

Troubelle: Moonbeam Malcontent + Bard of the New Movement
Troubelle: Moonbeam Malcontent + Bard of the New Movement
5 years ago

@Handsome Jack

Arranged, maybe?

Also, @David: Both the Lovecraftian links lead to the same thing.

LindsayIrene
LindsayIrene
5 years ago

He had an aversion to sea life

If Lovecraft would have lived long enough to see the discovery of this squid, he would have been all “I told you so!”

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Monzach
Monzach
5 years ago

@Handsome Jack

Lovecraft died penniless of cancer of the colon at age 47. He didn’t, in fact, die completely friendless since he was in active correspondence with nearly every literary figure of his time who was in any way connected to weird and macabre tales. The marriage of Sonia Lovecraft Greene and HPL is an interesting story, since as you say, Lovecraft was disgustingly racist even by the standards of his time. I’m fairly sure that Lovecraft married Sonia Greene mainly because she was a maternal woman who was to be a surrogate mother of sorts, since Lovecraft’s mother had died very shortly before that of tertiary syphilis, the same ailment that had taken his father some 25 years earlier.

Sorry to have jumped on this so quickly, but I’m a huge fan of Lovecraft (I wrote more than one essay on his work in college as an undergraduate) and I’ve read S. T. Joshi’s biography of him three times. Lovecraft was a brilliant writer who had the unfortunate flaw of being one of the most racist people to have put pen to paper. As long as a modern reader skips the more virulent portions of his work (I’m looking at you “The Street”, “The Case of Arthur Jermyn”, “Herbert West, Re-Animator” and “He”!) he’s very entertaining and more than a little chilling. 🙂

Alan Robertshaw
Alan Robertshaw
5 years ago

@ lindsayirene

Well that’s me never going swimming again.

Sinkable John : Pansy Ass Pinko, Regicidal Beast-of-Burden
Sinkable John : Pansy Ass Pinko, Regicidal Beast-of-Burden
5 years ago

I find Lovecraft kinda hard to read, not because it’s complicated but taking a shot every time “eldritch” is used kinda makes your vision a bit blurry.

This. Dude had more than a penchant for the superlative.

On the other hand, I still have a fondness for Quest for Kadath.

On his racism and anti-semitism, the story about his wife is also what I heard. Apparently he started to grow the fuck out of it too, but then he died.

@LindsayIrene

I’m never, ever, going anywhere near any kind of large body of water, ever again.

Pie
Pie
5 years ago

Using a neural network for this seems a bit like overkill. People have been doing it with nice simple markov chains for some years, with similar results:

commutativity of addition is a single theorem because it depends on the kind of unholy rapport he felt to exist between his mind and that lurking horror in the distant black valley.

http://kingjamesprogramming.tumblr.com/

Handsome :Punkle Stan: Jack

@Monzach

Hey, I don’t mind being corrected on stuff I get wrong. People can jump in and correct the stuff I say wrong whenever. It’s not like I’m an expert on everything, so.

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I heard he developed severe agoraphobia by the end of his life so he pretty much just talked to the few people that could stand him through letters and stuff near the end. It’s honestly really sad. He’s weirdly one of the few overly-racist people I can actually find sympathetic and can’t say they deserved what they got in the end, especially when it seems most of his problems stemmed from untreated phobias, even the racism itself to an extent. (I mean, I’m not trying to excuse his racism and shit, but I’m pretty sure his actual phobias contributed to his xenophobia enough to make his xenophobia an actual phobia. If ya understand what I’m trying to say.)

Monzach
Monzach
5 years ago

@Handsome Jack

Cool beans. 🙂 I have few subjects that I’m actually good at so when I get a chance to show my knowledge, I tend to take it. 😀

And yeah, Lovecraft was definitely in an unfortunate situation at the end of his life. He suffered from several phobias as you said, and he also had the severe inconvenience of pride which meant that he didn’t want to be seen in public in less than neat clothes. This meant that when his “good suit” was stolen by burglars he pretty much just had the clothes he wore on his daily rambles outdoors left, so he could only socialize with people through letters. And when I say that he went on daily rambles, I mean that he walked for up to ten miles a day, every day, even when deathly ill. Dude was pretty damn fit! 😀 The fact that he was so poor that he could only afford to eat beans on toast for weeks at a time (in a letter to Samuel Loveman he boasted that he once spent only a dollar on his meals in a week!) contributed quite a lot to his getting cancer.

Again, I do hope that the Mammotheers don’t mind my showing off. Do let me know if I’m being a bore. 🙂

Otrame
Otrame
5 years ago

Getting past Lovecraft’s racism isn’t easy. He was at least honest about it, even though it was slowly becoming passé to be so obvious about it. Normally I would run across the first of his “evil race-mixed degenerates” and bail, but that man could write. I mean he could write.

If you are into lying wide awake in the midden of the night, listening intently, and shaking, try reading The Rats in the Walls. I dare you.

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