Competing teams of programmers at Google and Facebook have been working furiously in recent months to develop an algorithm capable of deciphering, in real time, the seemingly random jumbles of words that flow from the mouths of Donald Trump and Joe Biden.
With the election just months away, the stakes are high as Americans have a short attention span for meandering nostalgic musings and barely comprehensible babble. Network producers are hoping to unveil the new technology at upcoming debates so the candidates’ responses to debate questions can be interpreted and transmitted to viewers in real time.
“Currently, the process of arriving at an answer to the question, ‘What the hell did he just say?’ involves dozens of journalists and commentators breaking down the candidate’s most confusing utterances and speculating for days, even weeks, about what the candidate may have meant. The process often involves mining past statements, pointing to the candidate’s record, or pulling from their personal history to provide even the faintest glimmer of clarity,” said MSNBC producer Cheryl Woodhouse.
Anders Gerital, head of senior special projects at Google expects the new technology to do away with all the needless speculation and guesswork. “Utilizing advanced algorithms, the work of hundreds of humans can be done instantaneously. Debate viewers will know in real time what the candidates are trying to say, even if the candidates don’t know themselves. The algorithm has access to the entire body of each candidate’s public pronouncements as well as all available private correspondence and decision-making. It will rely heavily on communications from a time when each candidate was much more lucid than they are currently. The technology will be able to literally start and finish their sentences.”
The project aims to eventually create digital copies to be utilized in case the commander-in-chief becomes incapacitated, or to assist the president in carrying out his ceremonial duties.
“We’re already 85% complete toward having each man’s consciousness digitally downloaded,” added one Facebook developer. “It’s actually remarkable how little server space each man’s brain occupies. You could literally carry Donald Trump around on a thumb drive.”
That’s reassuring to campaign staff. However, most of their communication team are just delighted they will no longer have to go on Twitter or cable news and clean up after one of their bosses’ word-salad explosions.
“Half the time I feel like a clown with a pooper-scooper, following my boss around and cleaning up after he shits out yet another load of nonsense,” said one Biden staffer.