Side Note

Behold, Lebron James and Werner Herzog as one

Botnik Studios

Readers of The Outline may recall this incredible, AI-generated fake Coachella lineup poster, featuring nonsensical artist names like “Benus Jackson,” “Bing the Bung,” and “Jonathan Is High,” and “Bogwolf.” Wrote Outline staffer Paris Martineau:

The fake lineup was created by Botnik Studios, a company that uses computational tools like neural networks (a subset of artificial intelligent that tries to imitate the way a human brain works by identifying common trends from lots of examples) and predictive keyboards (like the one on your phone, but more complicated) to create digital art.

On June 8, the same day that the Golden State Warriors successfully swept the Cleveland Cavaleirs in Game 4 of the NBA Finals, the good people at Botnik posted the above video of LeBron James giving a press conference following the Cavs’ loss in Game 3, with LeBron’s platitudes translated into the nonsensical koans of the legendarily eccentric German director Werner Herzog.

In a YouTube comment, Botnik explained that their Herzog script “was written with a new tool we are playing around with [which] lets us replace words from one source with similar words from another.” Given that Werner Herzog’s speaks in goofily severe, brutally honest nonsense, LeBron ends up saying amazing stuff like, “Last year we were extremely powerful, and the neck of our enemy was always in our fingers,” and, “Definitely all of civilization will remember Kevin Durant [...] He’s an assassin, and it’s this primordial nature that bonds us.”

“We must be alert, and wear our home camouflage shorts so that we are not seen on the court.”
— LeBron “Werner Herzog” James