Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Google Talk aka Monkeys

When I was an engineering undergraduate, I had an assignment to take a body of text and produce from it another body of text with a comparable distribution of three-word passages. It generated some interesting gibberish and was referred to as the Mokees assignment (an infinite number of monkeys at an infinite number of typewriters would, eventually, produce Hamlet; or so the popular thinking runs).

Well, Douwe Osinga has realised that you can do the very same thing with Google. Rather than starting with a randomly selected triplet from Google's index (Google provides no means to do this), simply provide three words as a seed and this page will add next words one at a time, apparently by searching Google for the trailing triplet and then appending the word immediately following the triplet in the first result.

It appears to stop after 9 or 10 iterations. "beginning of the" yielded "beginning of the week and the Olympic Review. OLYMPIC News l. did". "George Bush is" yielded "George Bush is a Liar, He s NOT selling out? it s the End of the World" before turning incoherent.