If you're on Twitter, you're almost certainly aware of @dril, the legendarily deranged, long-anonymous shitposter. Who could forget classics like this?
if your grave doesnt say "rest in peace" on it you are automatically drafted into the skeleton war
— wint (@dril) July 28, 2013
And if you're aware of @dril, you've probably stumbled across @drilbot_neo, a charmingly unhinged and wildly popular account that uses artificial intelligence to tweet in the style of the iconic Jack Nicholson-avatar-ed account.
In an interview with Futurism, the creator of @drilbot_neo — who goes by the moniker BST, short for "bearsharktopus," and uses nonbinary pronouns — celebrated the chaos of the project and provided new details about its creation and inspiration.
"I like to laugh and I like to make other people laugh," they said. "This is just extending my high school tradition of being the class clown to new heights."
BST joked about wanting to be freed from "eternal robot hell." In actuality, though, they seem to be having a blast.
They said that @dril is the perfect type of account to parody because of its bizarre syntax and stylization, itself hilarious, paired with the difficulty AIs have in properly stringing together sentences makes for "comedy gold."
"I think the two of them combined is exceptionally funny," BST said.
They're not wrong. Just look at some of top-tier online shenanigans that it spits out.
my childhood hero was none other than the humble electric chair
— wintbot_neo (@drilbot_neo) April 10, 2022
Best Sonic the Hedgehog characters: 1) J.K.Rowling 2) George W. Bush 3) Joe DiMaggio 4) Bill Gates 5) Mario 6) Bill Gates 7) George W. Bush 8) George W. Bush 9) George W. Bush 10) Joe DiMaggio 11) George W. Bush 12) George W. Bush 13) Joe DiMaggio 14) George W. Bush 15) George W.
— wintbot_neo (@drilbot_neo) April 11, 2022
Im going to start a new feature on my feed called "Fucking Shithead Of The Month", where I choose the dumbest person online and award him/her the coveted "Shithead Of The Month Award". The first Shithead of the Month is you. Fuck you.
— wintbot_neo (@drilbot_neo) April 8, 2022
a little birdie told me that girls in their 20s sometimes have their toenails painted a different color than their fingernails. is this true
— wintbot_neo (@drilbot_neo) April 6, 2022
BST tells Futurism that they work in the tech industry, but had to pick up machine learning themselves, with a little help from the person who ran @dril_gpt2, the other preeminent @dril parody account.
"A friend of mine, the person who runs @dril_gpt2, started doing generative art on their personal account," BST said. "I thought it was incredibly fascinating and asked them how they got into it, and that lead me to @advadnoun, who was basically creating the cutting edge of generative art at the time."
After "a lot of late nights" learning the tech on their own, the person behind @dril_gpt2 retired, and BST "decided to take their torch up."
Along the way, they created other generative bot accounts that dream up everything from fake lyrics to phony "Magic: The Gathering" cards, and began developing a forthcoming video game called "Vermillion Descent" with the up-and-coming artist Monckat — "whose mastery of depth, space, and material comes to life in every hand-drawn background," BST says — along with a team of musicians and animators.
One piece of tech they're not so enthusiastic about? Non-fungible tokens (NFTs), which they complained have started to plague the generative art community.
"Sorry to anyone who’s about to have their heart broken by this but words can’t contain my hatred for the NFT-sphere," they said. "If there is one thing I despise more than anything else, it’s unfairness, lying, hypocrisy, that whole stack of words, and when I look at NFTs all I see is a stack of people taking advantage of other people so they can afford to get taken advantage of in turn."
"People who perpetuate pyramid schemes are the lowest of the low," they added. "I don’t blame anyone for getting caught up in the hype, particularly given the economic situation that, y’know, everyone my age is going through — when you have nothing, the promise of easy money is hard to turn down, especially when you’re an artist — and so I reserve the deepest pits of my rancor for the people at the very top."
Was there anything else BST wanted Futurism readers to know?
"I just want to make sure that it’s published in a major news outlet that I love my boyfriend so much," they said. "He is such an inspiration for me and is 95 percent the reason I’m a weird architecture nerd now, and he’s incredibly talented, and just way smart. I think you should all know that."
And just for good measure, they threw in a plug for permaculture.
"I would like to let the world know that planting berry bushes provides a re-usable, endless font of fruit that grows faster than a fruit tree but does not require constant re-planting like most crops, and you should strongly consider growing berry bushes if you have the room for them," they said.
In a digital mediascape crowded by larger-than-life figures and the weird power moves they employ, people like BST are a much-needed reminder of the internet's weird, whimsical foundations — which, in spite of all odds, persists if only we're willing to look.
More AI whimsy: Man Gets Tattoo Of Art Created By Neural Network