Skip to main content

Attempt #9: The Expert

We spent an hour with Bob Mankoff, former cartoon editor of The New Yorker, and GPT-3, riffing on caption ideas that were either prompted or generated by GPT-3.

Back to Project
#769: Here is the cartoon for Aug 23, 2021 by Kaamran Hafeez
captionless cartoon by Kaamran Hafeez

Our submission: He eats this stuff up.

About this approach

Similar to our past attempts, we straight up asked GPT-3 what a funny caption would be for the cartoon contest (aka, The Zero-shot). This time, however, we had Bob Mankoff, former editor of the New Yorker cartoons, help improve the joke. That is, if GPT-3 generated a joke such as, “He eats the books,” Bob might say, “You know, it’d be funnier if it was, ‘he eats this stuff up.’” We spent an hour going back and forth on funny ideas either prompted or generated by GPT-3.

Bob also elicited a few topics that we leaned on GPT-3 to augment. He started out with the idea that alligators could be a new type of bookstore pet, so we asked GPT-3, “What are some other pets found in bookstores?”

This whole process yielded many different captions, many prompted by Bob but involving GPT-3 in some way, and our team just picked the one that we felt was the funniest. This was the first attempt where the caption candidates were not always directly generated by GPT-3.

The best captions included:

1. The landlord stopped trying to evict us.

2. He's a voracious reader.

3. He eats this stuff up.

4. It's a first edition.

5. But right now, I'm looking for a book on how to make an alligator not bite you.

6. Will he serve me or eat me?

7. We haven't had anyone steal books since we got him.

8. I'm actually looking to just wrestle him.

Back to Project