Steve Carell's final episode of The Office aired last night, and without him, we're left with a hole in our lives where those "that's what she said" jokes (hereby referred to as TWSS jokes) should be. Luckily, a couple of computer scientists have created some software that recognizes the opportunity to make a TWSS joke in the midst of natural language. It sounds like a huge effort, but definitely has the potential to fill that hole. (That one was a gimme.)
The software actually sounds pretty tricky to write--it's a natural language analyzer, sort of like a more specific and not so terrifying version of IBM's Watson. Created by Chloé Kiddon and Yuriy Brun of the University of Washington (make sure to read their report if you want to see an NBC sitcom properly cited in an academic work), the system is named DEviaNT, which stands for Double Entendre via Noun Structure--a bit of a stretch, but we've seen worse.
To figure out if a seemingly innocuous sentence could have a second, more sexual meaning, Kiddon and Brun first analyzed lots of text from both erotic and non-erotic sources, then set the software to evaluate which nouns, adjectives, and verbs have a high "sexiness" possibility--words like "big," "meat," and "satisfy" would all qualify. They also fed it jokes from TWSS websites (yes, there are compendiums of TWSS jokes, of course there are compendiums of TWSS jokes).
At the moment, DEviaNT has about a 70% accuracy rate, which leads to some jokes that don't really make sense (that's what she said), but the researchers are confident that with more data, they can boost its abilities to near-Michael-Scottian levels.
Well yesterday is was so wet out, but my mouth was dry, and needed something to quench my insatiable hunger….luckily there was a ripe fuzzy peach in my refrigerator, and I was going to have it in the kitchen, I gently took hold of the peach and carefully split it open, it was so juicy that it started to drip down my hand, I hungrily, sopped it up, not wanting to waste a drop. Finally the moment I had been waiting for had arrived, I put the soft glistening flesh in my mouth, and ate it with my eyes closed…it was so delicious and sticky sweet, my mouth spasmed with enjoyment and when it was about to be fully consumed my toes curled. That peach truly hit the spot. ;-)
Error 2800FA: "Thats what she said" density too high.
Beginning self-destruct sequence.
There will be a hole in me where Michael Scott used to fill...
That's what she said
Here's to you Michael... and your born again robotic doppelgangar