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Can AI do comedy?

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Being intrigued by Generative AI, I’ve spent some time studying things. In fact, a lot of time watching movies and reading columns full of how it is making us worried about the future. Therefore, in the spirit of worrying you, I asked ChatGPT to write me a scene of a bank customer dealing with their bank … in the style of Monty Python. Here’s what it came up with:

Title: "The Banking Absurdity"

Setting: A bank customer, Mr. Thompson, is speaking with a Monty Python-esque bank clerk, Mr. Twonkers, who takes absurdity to a whole new level.

Mr. Thompson: (enters the bank and approaches the counter) Excuse me, I'd like to inquire about my account balance.

Mr. Twonkers: (the bank clerk, wearing an extravagant hat and doing a silly walk) Ah, greetings, good sir! Welcome to the Bank of Utter Nonsense. How may I assist you today?

Mr. Thompson: Yes, I just need to know the balance in my account.

Mr. Twonkers: Balance, you say? A delicate equilibrium between the yin and yang of financial affairs! Marvelous! (performs an exaggerated balancing act with imaginary weights)

Mr. Thompson: Uh, yes, but can you just tell me how much money I have in my account?

Mr. Twonkers: Ah, the pursuit of numerical clarity! Most intriguing! First, let us perform the ancient ritual of account verification. (takes out a rubber chicken and waves it in the air)

Mr. Thompson: A rubber chicken? Is that really necessary?

Mr. Twonkers: Of course! Tradition must be upheld! Now, please recite the first word that comes to mind.

Mr. Thompson: Bank?

Mr. Twonkers: (nods solemnly) Excellent! You've passed the first trial. Now, for the second challenge - (pulls out a giant propeller hat) - spin this hat while humming your favorite tune!

Mr. Thompson: (bewildered) Humming and spinning a hat? I just want to know my account balance.

Mr. Twonkers: Ah, but the path to financial enlightenment is paved with the stones of eccentricity! Now, let us chant the sacred banking mantra: "Money, money, quite divine, tell me, tell me, what is mine!"

Mr. Thompson: (sighs) Fine, whatever. Money, money, quite divine, tell me, tell me, what is mine.

Mr. Twonkers: (dramatically) The mystical forces have been summoned! Let me consult the enchanted ledger of numerical revelations. (pretends to read an invisible ledger) Ah, yes, here we are. You have precisely... um, three coconuts and a baguette!

Mr. Thompson: What? Coconuts and a baguette? I thought this was a bank!

Mr. Twonkers: Ah, but of course! In the Bank of Utter Nonsense, we deal in commodities of the highest absurdity! Coconuts and baguettes, the currency of the future!

Mr. Thompson: This is ridiculous. I just want to know my actual account balance!

Mr. Twonkers: Balance, you say? A delicate equilibrium between logic and lunacy! Alas, my good sir, the true balance eludes us all! (spins around in a circle and exits with a silly walk)

Mr. Thompson: (exasperated) I've had enough of this. I'm switching banks.

Quite funny, but not original.

I then asked ChatGPT to write me a scene in the style of Little Britain. Here’s what it came up with.

INT. BANK - DAY

[The bank customer, MR. SMITH, approaches the counter where LOU TODD is stationed.]

MR. SMITH: Hello there, I'd like to inquire about my account.

LOU TODD: (Lou's usual deadpan expression) Yeah, alright.

MR. SMITH: I've been having some issues with my online banking. It keeps locking me out.

LOU TODD: (Nonchalant) Yeah, that happens.

MR. SMITH: Well, I need it fixed. I've got bills to pay.

LOU TODD: (Slowly) Right. So, what's your name?

MR. SMITH: Smith. Mr. Smith.

LOU TODD: (Staring blankly) Mr. Smith... right.

[Lou Todd starts typing on the computer, but he seems more interested in his sandwich.

MR. SMITH: Can you fix my online banking issue?

LOU TODD: (Shrugging) Dunno. Maybe.

[Lou Todd continues typing with one hand while holding his sandwich with the other.]

MR. SMITH: Well, can you check my account balance?

LOU TODD: (Without looking up) Yeah, yeah. Hold on.

[Lou Todd continues typing, seemingly more interested in his sandwich than the customer's request.]

MR. SMITH: (Annoyed) Are you even listening to me?

LOU TODD: (Chewing) Yeah, yeah. I'm listening.

MR. SMITH: Well?

LOU TODD: (Still chewing) Oh, your balance. Right.

[Lou Todd finally looks at the screen.]

LOU TODD: Yeah, you've got some money in there.

MR. SMITH: (Sighs) Can you help me fix the online banking issue?

LOU TODD: (Mumbling) I guess.

[Lou Todd grabs a phone, dials a number, and continues eating his sandwich while waiting for a response.]

MR. SMITH: This is ridiculous.

[After a moment, Lou Todd puts down the sandwich and hands Mr. Smith the phone.]

LOU TODD: Here. Talk to them. I'm on my break.

[Lou Todd resumes eating his sandwich, leaving Mr. Smith frustrated.]

My view: Quite funny, but nothing special.

In other words, our current generation of AI which has got everyone so excited, is only as good as the input and the input is based upon thousands of scripts, words, art, music and more created by humans.

Without the human input, AI would be nothing.

#dropthemic

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Chris M Skinner

Chris Skinner is best known as an independent commentator on the financial markets through his blog, TheFinanser.com, as author of the bestselling book Digital Bank, and Chair of the European networking forum the Financial Services Club. He has been voted one of the most influential people in banking by The Financial Brand (as well as one of the best blogs), a FinTech Titan (Next Bank), one of the Fintech Leaders you need to follow (City AM, Deluxe and Jax Finance), as well as one of the Top 40 most influential people in financial technology by the Wall Street Journal's Financial News. To learn more click here...

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