Follow the Data

A data driven blog

Archive for the tag “meta”

Neural networks hallucinating text

I’ve always been a sucker for algorithmic creativity, so when I saw the machine generated Obama speeches, I immediately wanted to try the same method on other texts. Fortunately, that was easily done by simply cloning the char-rnn repository by Andrej Karpathy, which the Obama-RNN was based on. Andrej has also written a long and really very good introduction to recurrent neural networks if you want to know more about the inner workings of the thing.

I started by downloading an archive of all the posts on this blog and trained a network with default parameters according to the char-rnn instructions. In the training phase, the network tries to learn to predict the next character in the text. Note that it does not (initially) know anything about words or sentences, but learns about those concepts implicitly with training. After training, I let the network hallucinate new blog posts by sampling from the network state (this is also described on the GitHub page). The network can be “primed” with a word or a phrase, and a temperature parameter controls how conservative or daring the network should be when generating new text. Essentially a low temperature will give a repetitive output endlessly rehashing the same concepts (namely, the most probable ones based on the training data) while a high temperature will output more adventurous stuff such as weird new “words” and sometimes imaginary hyperlinks (if links were included in the input).

Here are a few samples from the Follow the Data RNN. You’ll be the judge of how well it captures the blog’s spirit.

Temperature 1:

predictive pullimation; in personal ining the find of R crition Large Liforrsion Sachelity Complents have bio carristed in software predictions on yenogic data is to first general revalumated by people of cholescologion, slides of programs where pluding this onlines it a hagn to be step-nature for genomes with onlowed data data set that from the system that me personito of the being prediction of pacen”</em>.


perhoul what yeverope informatation will likely moveling in langup genetic paring how health reed masses disease out its mames by (I’ve not, one would PDAscoprometain, this proop whothem the astimate all talks be a single wike this blogpors high tho out that company around and brarting provide nest potential cervel gods a sall sult of they are it is now laned to write can be used metagenome have not probable to the imail, the pettoling in an, described

Temperature 0.2:

articles are and self-tracking and company that the command the starts to see that the results of the prediction in the prediction contests about the prediction contests in the contest at the command the data sets of statistics and prediction contests about the presentation of the data set of both say that the results of the presentation is an interesting problems in the concept of the prediction data sets of both samples of data sets of the problem is that is a predictive analysis and some sequences and sense for the talk may be a set of the paper and the sequence profiles are an experience and probably the statistical analysis of analysis statistics and provides and prediction contests in the contests and company that the command the starts of the paper in the prediction probably and better that all the company that the (etc …)

OK, that was not great. Let’s raise the temperature to 0.7 and seed the net with “deep learning”:

maker the runion following how build on our related in atther are algorithms in scientific movement is sequence of the paper in a lot more and results of data posting to see in genetal sequence of discussion in the software completely (with Manalay will be all cantrusualing indelation and know possistration and simplement caper is the lately and the lately of the entroagh the clinical replot on what thoughts in the related network. The currently in the <a href=””>here</a&gt;.

In such as well be a new up some notes stall more results to release which can be used on the process of biolity (or because the problem is to have been every booking the clinical resomm that build of the paper is on the web company relation to me that it up a preteors, machine learning teams. It are blogging index, the exterment). I’ve lidel sentiment methods to call contain variant public.

The interview quarthyre of they asseance in the prediction methods.
A  multiple possible to such fut to this sequence data sets are both the facural statistics of courses where can be complenes and inpreserver the allow predictive results are and more scale some the paper is that the build betted examples are signity.</li>

You’ll note that the net has invented many interesting new words, which is a consequence of the fact that it is generating one character at a time.

For my next experiment, I couldn’t resist putting the collected short stories of JG Ballard (one of my favourite writers) into the network. Here, I used 256 nodes, but perhaps should have trained a bit longer as the results are still a bit shaky (although they have a distinctly Ballardian feel at times). In particular, I am missing words like “canopy”, “perimeter”, and of course the drained swimming pools. Here are some samples:

US DAY, counterlahes to face the films, one programme demolishiking science prison erecting out of the solar aircraft on my mind.

Television made him for itself his pieces of published telescope.

A simple motion of Kennedy heard your legs through the suit within a fortuna from Beach. Angel and London Hinton’s gas. A single tenant of the succession of all the transition limbs ultil to me that three overlooking the space–craft has been insilent.

An assocations of 112–hour long water in front of them all sweak, as if he was saying, his coming at the statue. Its still bays rated like a large physician from the watch–tobe. The ancient birds were simply to embrace her for a long wholly self–conscious police. Nothing two days, children before the cities, Charles Wallari Street calps our overhead, efforts gives up the drums.

Ward shook his head sadly. ‘I don’t felt some due.’

Mongable was like my people seems my fear–spinding beach–car. Yet, but you an overhead time, they’re going to do with the summer seems only in trister held of? I didn’t wasn’t already get to do. If the prayer has questioned much, however, as soon as selfables exhilaration of peaced Franz. Laster had lost impuly as wousen much wave. Perhaps if they meaning on flatper. ‘Let’s go outstands.’ He listened up in the lounge, a acut shifting in and out of the grass and hands. Ryan stood by her mask velvet, neutral on the darkened bedroom. Waist doldent helicopters whisky to stopped the chauffeur on to the water. Simulator was convinced the sculptor of the suffiring moonlight.

At the like the woman stopped and he could pany when it raised the emptines and lined themselves from the stairs, hoods would soon realize the tiled sand–rays of them, like the fourth houses were hidden from the streets, and then spotted in a small features of path Aselage.

At three of the speeding expirsm, Traven returned to me. Once, as I looked at his wife and shields. All afternoons the bel

Or with the max temperature:

Wind’s speaking, Halloway began to climb into the distant. The Sign of the crest of his treasure, like the hidden profile on one of the clocks, rost in the blockhen flourish.

For years before the soared assemble, their fragmented pen with a jewelly confused sector with Bayliss and London on either side with slow he had learned off the sleep. Surprised by the display’s optical relief than there. Accorring you, over–grey manner, the idleg to make on the abandoned gaps of magnine air, welephoring on their rough and owners during myself.

I didn’t have ask pressed to its professional record libbariards and reverse, creatively and given a single–washing suit that had slumped.

As he watched him he left her away from him, presumably slightly old but prismatic apparation of the air, turned back among the beaches.

As we sat down, Slept asleep again, and was sufficioned about in patiently. Taking his fingers, pantic season flew overrounds and satisfied him to lie–accaling with noise. As she sitused, slung at his feet in custom of letters turned on never at falles. Gunfir felt in one hand, he moved away at my carded grass. Her personante stepped off his chest, seemed to have passed. He was in advance with a survoinnes’ crawl. Quickly he regretted to receive while Mrs Osmond – survived the softly steps, pushing abandone in the stone bird. Drill as the houses opposite, whose side–struggle of down–thems alerts prepared to take part of the sea.

Ryker quickly waved him down to his mouth overlooking the raw building, and watched him into a valley behind it. When an interval of hundreds of its impact the Vicionic pores, however, first waiting for my moving palls, for the visual minor curved and shakes test of the town centre. Averything again even he was out of to the building, and by the timewinds like metal landmarsh fingers technique unlimited silk like the few ratts of heels, the unique light from the wheels and speedback on the wound, and continue the s

Using a low temperature (0.2 in this case) we get a lot of stations, statues and chauffeurs:

(the station we have been able to see me to the sound of the station and an essentian of some sort of conscious the sense of a starting concentration of the station and his last few days and the sea and the sea and the sea and set out the station and a series of conscious of the sea. The computers the statue was the special morning the station that had been a million disasted and set off in the corner of the car park. The statue had been transformed into a series of space complex and anti–games in the sun. The first stage of the station was a small car park in the sunlight. The chauffeur was being seen through the shadows of the sky. The bony skin was still standing at the store and started to stand up and down the staircase. He was aware of the chauffeur, and the car park was almost convinced that the station was a small conclusion of the station and a series of experiments in the sense of the sea. The station was almost to himself. He had been a sudden international art of the station that the station was the only way of world was a series of surface. An area of touch with a strange surge of fresh clock and started to stay here to the surrounding bunker. He stood up and stared at her and watched the statue for the first time the statue for the first time and started to stand up and down the stairway to the surface of the stairway. He was about to see me with a single flower, but he was aware of the continuous sight of the statue, and was suffered by the stars of the statue for the first time and the statue for the first time of the sight of the statue in the centre of the car, watching the shore like a demolish of some pathetic material.

That’s it for this time!


Who should we interview?

As you may know, we started a series of podcasts last year and managed to finish four episodes: interviews with Gavagai,, Paco Nathan and Niklas Laninge. Those were great fun, but at the end of 2012 we started to hit a brick wall when trying to find interview subjects. We ended up getting semi-positive responses from four or five companies along the lines of “we are interested, but not right now.” Now we are starting to feel that perhaps we should just talk between the two of us in the following podcasts in order to keep them coming out. 

But before we decide on that, what do our readers think? Any suggestions for people or companies that we should interview? Please let us know in the comments section.

Just follow the data

Sorry, couldn’t resist this … I was listening to the most recent episode of Futures in Biotech. About 29:00 into the show, Professor Judith Campisi says:

“So, you know, first of all, I think this is the beauty of science, […] you start off […] in one corner of the world, or the universe of your field, and if you follow the data — just follow the data! — you don’t know where you’re gonna wind up.

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