2 Girls 1 Podcast: Behind 'Sheldon County,' the Podcast Created by AI

The Daily Dot (Licensed)

This ‘infinite’ AI-hosted podcast is unique for every listener

Can algorithms really tell compelling human stories?


Matt Silverman


Published Jun 4, 2018   Updated May 21, 2021, 2:25 pm CDT

Procedural generation is no stranger to narrative media like video games. But it’s especially compelling (and creepy) in podcast form.

Ph.D. student James Ryan is the creator of Sheldon County, a podcast that’s generated and hosted by artificial intelligence. As a programmer, Ryan sets the rules of this “universe”—character traits, geographic parameters—and then algorithms simulate the story based on a random number generator. That story is then told to you, the listener, with an artificial voice. And no two stories are exactly alike.

This week on 2 Girls 1 Podcast, Alli and Jen (actors who perform weird internet stuff on stage) talk to Ryan about this fascinating experiment, what it means for the future of entertainment, and whether a creepy AI voice will put them out of work.

Listen to the show:

2 Girls 1 Podcast is supported by listeners. A lot of time and resources go into research, booking, editing, and publishing this show. If you love internet culture as much as we love ‘casting about it, consider a contribution of $1 or $2 per month to help offset our production costs. Become a patron of #2G1P and earn some cool perks while you’re at it:

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We’d love to hear from you!

  • Email the show: [email protected]
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2 Girls 1 Podcast is hosted by Allison Goldberg and Jennifer Jamula, and is produced and edited by Matt Silverman in New York City. Production assistance is provided by The Podglomerate.

Want to hear more from the Daily Dot? Check out the Upstream Podcast, tackling the week in streaming entertainment, and We’re All Gonna Die, our weekly politics roundtable.

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*First Published: Jun 4, 2018, 5:30 am CDT