Reeke and Edelman's conclusion is one similar to that
made by numerous other researchers who have tried to
provide guidance for artificial intelligence. Often,
after spending time trying to help research, these
scholars and experts walk away disillusioned by the
tenacious desire of artificial intelligence researchers
to cling to inadequate synthetic theories.

The actual squat, pear-shaped fruit found in the typical American produce aisle does not scream “stuff.” But the eggplant emoji that pops up on iPhone keyboards—it’s nestled between a roasted sweet potato and a tomato—is an elongated, almost muscular specimen. Perhaps the Japanese origins of emoji can help explain the shape shift: Willem Van Lancker, a designer who created the bulk of emoji characters that appear on Apple devices, says that the tiny graphics were originally crafted exclusively for Japanese iPhones before they spread around the world. And as Time magazine informed American eaters in 2013, Japanese eggplant are “typically longer, thinner and a bit more corkscrew-shaped than the eggplant you may be used to.” The Japanese eggplant is “noticeably less plump.” It’s undeniably more phallic.

Move over, banana: The eggplant has risen to become America’s dominant phallic fruit. It wasn’t too long ago that comparing a penis to an eggplant inspired associations with horrific, intimate trauma. But now, the eggplant readily connotes a quite healthy package. When nude photographs of Chris Brown leaked online in January, the gossip site Media TakeOut tagged them “EGGPLANT PICS.” And when a Chinese panda named Lu Lu broke the record for longest panda sex session this week, an observer on Twitter described the feat as “giving panda eggplant.” The Instagram account @eggplant has posted just one innocent photo of the fruit, and amassed 1,500 tittering comments from browsers in the know. (“Big as mine,” one male commenter weighed in.) When Billboard asked Diplo to name his favorite emoji in February, he replied: “The eggplant one. It’s code for stuff.”