The Nonsense Laboratory


  • Allison Parrish New York University
  • Jenny Goldstick Independent Researcher
  • Tim Szetela Princeton University



Machine Learning, Linguistics, Web-based, Playful


We present the Nonsense Laboratory, a series of playful web-based tools for manipulating the way words sound and the way words are spelled. The Laboratory's various playful interfaces give users an opportunity to adjust, poke at, mangle, curate, rearrange and elaborate the sounds of words in written text. The project makes use of Pincelate, a code library and machine learning model for phoneme-to-grapheme and grapheme-to-phoneme tasks in English, trained on the CMU Pronouncing Dictionary. The goal of the project is twofold: first, to make possible new ways of manipulating spelling (akin to playing a musical instrument or modeling with clay); and second, to demystify machine learning by providing an intuitive, friendly interface to a machine learning model. We briefly describe the design and implementation of the Nonsense Laboratory's five interfaces, and situate the project in our own research concerning design, literary studies, linguistics, and machine learning.




How to Cite

Parrish, A., Goldstick, J., & Szetela, T. (2022). The Nonsense Laboratory. Proceedings of the AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence and Interactive Digital Entertainment, 18(1), 292-297.