Aw yeah it’s time for cookies with neural networks
2 min read

Aw yeah it’s time for cookies with neural networks

Aw yeah it’s time for cookies with neural networks

So there’s these computer programs called artificial neural networks that are good at imitating things. By seeing examples of what humans did, they can learn to translate languages, predict product sales, and even categorize text and images as innocuous or explicit (it has a lot of trouble with this last task, as it turns out).

One neural network I use, called textgenrnn, tries its best to imitate any kind of text you give it. I’ve given them paint colors, band names, and even guinea pig names and in each case their results are somewhat… mixed. (Paint colors called Stanky Bean, Stargoon, and Turdly, for example) The problem is that it doesn’t know what any of these words mean - it’s just picking letter combinations that seem likely to it.

This is what happened when I gave it all the cookies from a list of American recipes. This is what human cookies sound like to a neural network.

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Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go whip up a batch of Fluffin Coffee Drops.

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Want to help with a future project? I’m crowdsourcing a dataset of college essay prompts. Let’s see if a neural net can write some that are more interesting than the usual!