This AI generates gibberish words with nonsensical definitions to match

Christine Fisher
Contributing Writer
Opened book with flying letters on concrete background

Are you looking to improve your vocabulary while you’re stuck at home? Do you want to teach your kids new words while they’re out of school? If so, you’ll want to avoid ThisWordDoesNotExist.com. The new website offers an endless stream of AI-generated nonsensical words, accompanied by seemingly plausible dictionary definitions.

For instance, ThisWordDoesNotExist.com will tell you that a dolecat is “a very large cat, especially a coniferous one,” bastardole is the ancient Roman port of Tuscany and sclerotoxin is a toxin often used as an extratory agent in perfumery. Of course, none of that is true. The second definition for each word is “a word that does not exist; it was invented, defined and used by a machine learning algorithm.”

Created by developer Thomas Dimson, ThisWordDoesNotExist.com uses GPT-2, a neural net designed to create predictive text. OpenAI invented GPT-2 and warned that it could write believable fake news. After some debate, OpenAI released GPT-2, hoping it would lead to better AI-generated-text detection and root out language biases. So far, we’ve seen it train text adventure games, write stories about unicorns and, now, come up with fake words.

As The Verge points out, the site follows a familiar format. We’ve seen AI-generated sites like ThisPersonDoesNotExist.com (super creepy, by the way) and ThisArticleDoesNotExist.com. Like similar programs, ThisWordDoesNotExist.com looks for patterns in data and then tries to replicate them. Like its predecessors, ThisWordDoesNotExist.com is kind of dumb but fun and a testament to AI’s potential to dupe us all.