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Can you tell a machine-generated meme from a human-created one?
Skynet is here, and it’s going to LOL us all to death.
Guess what, fleshbags? Your pathetic human presence on the Internet is no longer necessary.
Yes, humanity’s greatest online achievement—the creation of memes documenting life’s quotidian litany of minor triumphs and moderately embarrassing failures—has now been has completely automated.
A new website called Slowmeme.com takes the image macros that comprise the Internet’s most popular memes like Futurama Fry, Confession Bear, and Scumbag Steve and randomly generates the iconically blocky white text that goes over them.
Random may actually be too strong of a word. Slowmeme’s creations follow the accepted stylistic conventions of the memes populating Internet forums like Reddit’s r/adviceanimals community, but they plug unique words and phrases into crucial sections. The results are surprisingly close the standard memes, if they were processed through a slightly more absurdist filter than is typical.
As a result, it can be difficult to determine if a given meme was created by an actual lazy college senior or if that college senior was so lazy he outsourced his meme creation to Slowmeme.
Take this quiz, and see if you can tell if these memes were created by humans or by bots:
2) Human (via Reddit)
5) Human (via Reddit)
6) Human (via Reddit)
10) Human (via Reddit)
12) Human (via Reddit)
Eagle-eyed readers probably noticed that all the human-made memes are in ALL CAPS, a dead giveaway for telling humanity from the replicants.
Photo by L.C. Nøttaasen/Flickr
Aaron Sankin is a former Senior Staff Writer at the Daily Dot who covered the intersection of politics, technology, online privacy, Twitter bots, and the role of dank memes in popular culture. He lives in Seattle, Washington. He joined the Center for Investigative Reporting in 2016.