Like most Americans, you are currently sitting at your desk/on your couch/in your car/in a tree anxiously gnashing your teeth from frustration. It’s here at last, the Christmas Day of political events — the State of the Union — but there are still hours until the speech is delivered. (Unless you’re reading this after the speech, in which case just rewrite all of that in your head to be about how many months away the next SOTU speech happens to be.)
As any American can tell you, because all Americans share this attitude, there is no life event so powerful and energizing as hearing a scripted speech from a politician, except a scripted speech from a politician that is preceded by an hour or two of Congress congratulating itself.
We here at The Washington Post know what you’re going through. We know that tension. We know that desire to see a speech, any speech, just to whet one’s appetite for the main event. And we are here to serve.
What we have done is we have pulled the past 50 years of State of the Union speeches from the database at the University of California at Santa Barbara’s American Presidency Project, and we have fed those speeches to a robot. Not just any robot, mind you: a speech-writing robot. Is this real technology and not just a gimmicky text-manipulation process? Yes, it is one of those things, and we think you will agree that the results are exceptional.
Instead of writing out words like a sucker, let’s just allow the robot to take over already and write a wonderful, cogent speech of his own. (The robot has a gender, and it is a male, apparently.) You may even tell the robot which presidents you would like its speech to use as inspiration.
The State of the Robotic Union
Which presidents' speeches should be used to generate the speech?
I am entirely confident in predicting that the speech above was a sensible, thought-provoking articulation of the core values of these United States of America.
It’s very possible, in fact, that you’re now so inspired by America and so on that you won’t even want to tune in to President Trump’s speech. Quash that feeling. If you don’t watch the speech, how will you participate in the water-cooler banter tomorrow at work about what he said?
Because that’s what Americans do: They watch political speeches and then have discussions with their peers about those speeches, just as the Founding Fathers intended.