The Top 5 Strangest Uses of AI

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May 24, 2020

Whilst AI has transformed many essential areas of society, some have also begun to use its technology for the weirder. As artificial intelligence becomes more and more a part of everyday life, people are being more creative in implementing its technology into a variety of different areas, from the mundane to the wonderfully mad, often with comical results.

Without further ado, here is our list of the top 5 strangest uses of AI:

Finding Waldo

The creative marketing agency Redpepper have developed a robot to help find Waldo in the famous book series Where’s Waldo (known as Wally in the UK). Researchers used Google AutoML Vision, feeding in images of the striped, elusive character to help identify the striped character in  the puzzle books’ crowds.


When presented with one of the Waldo/Wally pages, the robot (an arm with a camera on the end and tiny plastic hand) will take a picture of the scene, compare it to the images it’s been fed, find the spectacled traveller and smack the plastic hand down onto him.  

Writing Pickup Lines

Janelle Shane, a research scientist, trained a neural network in how to create pickup lines. For this, Janelle fed pre-existing pickup phrases to the neural network, which it then analysed in order to help generate lines of its own. The results, however, were not as silver tongued as one would expect, but rather oddly endearing, if slightly incoherent, including:

“You look like a thing and I love you.”

“I want to see you to my heart.”

“You must be a triangle? Cause you’re the only thing here.”

Flipping Burgers

Miso Robotics have created a robot that can flip burgers (aptly named “Flippy”). It’s claimed that the artificial cook can grill up to 300 patties an hour, as well as offering a whole host of other culinary skills, including:

  • Working a grill or fryer
  • Automatic tool switching and cleaning
  • OSHA safety compliant
  • Works collaboratively with kitchen staff

Flippy also cooks “perfectly and consistently everytime” and can “learn from its surroundings and acquire new skills over time”.

Fortune Telling

Roboticist Alexander Reben has created a virtual fortune cookie, taking thousands of the fun treat’s one-line predictions and training a neural network on them. The results for Alexander’s experiment was quite unsettling, with around 75% of the messages being negative, and some just plain odd, including “Success is a powerful excuse” and “no one is listening.”

Writing Harry Potter Books

Whilst J.K. Rowling saddened many fans by bringing the Harry Potter series to a close, AI tech has made it possible to create more of these magical books without the author. Botnik studios wrote a new chapter to the Harry Potter books, using an algorithm that has been trained on the seven existing Potter books.


The new, four-page chapter Botnik studios created was titled “Harry Potter and the Portrait of What Looked Like a Large Pile of Ash” and holds comedic, if slightly confusing, situations such as - “Voldemort, you’re a very bad and mean wizard,” Harry savagely said. Hermoine nodded encouragingly. The tall Death Eater was wearing a shirt that said ‘Hermoine Has Forgotten How To Dance,’ so Hermoine dipped his face in mud.”

Dani Katz
Dani Katz
Founder Director

Dani’s actuarial experience and passion are key. He is a strong advocate of innovation, optimism and communication, both within the team and for the clients. Dani’s ability and experience with data ensure that we always maximise value and efficiency for every project, enabling us to unlock hidden value for the clients business.

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