A big neural net reviews a smaller neural net's recipes
5 min read

A big neural net reviews a smaller neural net's recipes

A big neural net reviews a smaller neural net's recipes

I’ve used various neural networks to generate recipes, to varying degrees of success. My earliest recipes were generated with char-rnn, which had to learn everything - spelling, punctuation, words - entirely from scratch. Its recipes were terrible (Swamp Peef and Cheese, anyone? Or Chocolate Chicken Chicken Cake?). Later when I started using GPT-2, I was using a neural net that had already seen a lot of recipes online during internet pre-training, and its recipes looked a lot more realistic (although not entirely realistic - there was that recipe for Black Forest Cake that suggested pouring the batter into a toaster, or the jello recipe that starts with “remove all internal rinds”).

GPT-3, an even more powerful text-generating neural net, has seen so many recipes during its internet pre-training that its recipes are boringly plausible. Bake its Black Forest Cake recipe and you’d probably actually get cake at the end, even if it’s not the best cake in the world. Its recipes aren’t funny at a glance, which is why I haven’t posted any of them - until internet linguist Gretchen McCulloch suggested that, rather than have GPT-3 generate its own recipes, I have it rate char-rnn’s recipes. Readers, it worked.

I prompted GPT-3 with two example recipes from allrecipes, each followed by 3 of their human-written reviews. Then, for the third recipe I inserted one of char-rnn’s recipes:

Chocolate Chocolate Cake

1 cup sugar
1/4 cup butter
1 cup margarine
1 cup cocoa
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup margarine
1/2 cup pecans, chopped
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 egg yolk
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup chopped pecans
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup cocoa
1 teaspoon vanilla

Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, salt, and salt in a large bowl. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture boils and stiff peaks form. Add milk and cook until mixture is completely melted. Remove from heat and stir in sugar and sugar. Add eggs and vanilla. Beat until smooth. Spread in batter. Sprinkle with pecans.

Yield: 1 servings

And then I let GPT-3 add reviews. Would it mention the excessive lakes of vanilla? The complete lack of flour? The foolhardy reliance on the heroic efforts of a single egg yolk to hold things together?

oxtailsandturnovers

Rating: 5 stars

03/04/2007

delicious chocolate recipe!!! and the perfect balance between cocoa and chocolate. and they sure were LONGNECKS! big time rave here. lazy w birthdays w friends and family, try this recipe for something chocolate sweet the ppl will talk about over and over.
AKEMIYUNA

Rating: 5 stars appraisal

12/03/2008

Excellent for the kids Halloween party. Everyone got so thrilled by seeing something new on Chocolate in sponge. He even likes nuts separately but it will taste good..
BYOMFYABF

Rating: 2 stars

10/01/2008

I could only give it a 2 as I had to make changes to it due to ingredients I had. First, I used Dove Dark Chocolate cocoa instead of Hershey's, no nuts, and the mashed bananas and caramel topping were a must. I did use coffee instead of the hot water, and dark margarine instead of regular, therefore I could not use light whipped cream, but I made homemade whipped cream. It had WAY too much flour in it, but i guess it could have been me measuring heavier than I should have. I also only used 2 cups of flour. it was my first bundt cake, so it was huge!!!

Here’s another batch of reviews, this time of a more chaotic char-rnn recipe:

Simple Soup Alaborate Soup Pie

6 each chopped white perserves; ** (optional but ring)
1/2 cup chopped fresh marjoram
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/3 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup thinly sliced onion
1/4 cup onion (chopped)
1/2 teaspoon garlic; minced
2 small carrots
6 can dry white wine
1 tabasco sauce
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 cup flour, whipped topping
2 tablespoon chili powder

Marinate: Serves 4.

Whip and short under boiling. Add the sliced mushrooms and peppers and stir to coat. Stir the sugar and carrots. In large bowl, beat the egg to make a 1 1/2 tablespoons of the flour. Add shanks and stir it well. Spoon into a frying pan before serving.

Recipe By : DonajehLi Koubmanda

Yield: 8 servings
JEFFREY97389

Rating: 2 stars

03/03/2006

Even though everyone said this was great, I thought it was just 'OK!' The perserves gave a strange flavor to the sauce.
MATTJANDTRACER

Rating: 2 stars

01/02/2009

This recipe sounded good. When it came out it tasted a bit like a casserole and not a stew. I used venison instead of deer and pork. I liked the way it turned out, but it wasnt very French.
Hammy

Rating: 5 stars

The g iving this as a gift as it takes about 10 less minutes but using American cheese and not blended with parsley flakes, lime-flavored gelatin, which is my husband's favorite dish from SuperValu. Just happens to be the creamy sauce. Don't worry about a pie crust.

In fact, the more chaotic the char-rnn recipe, the more chaotic the reviews tend to be, as if GPT-3 has picked up on the chaos and is trying to somehow produce reviews that could plausibly be written by whatever weird humans are visiting this mangled recipe website.

Geilded Peanuts & Crabmeat Basil

3 beef, boneless chops, or thyme,

1 lamber and flince of fresh diced in diagonal
1 parsley
2 large leeks (for garnish)
3/4 teaspoon sesame oil, seeded and peeled
1 any jeans'l-tortilla
1 pepper or cinnamon
1/4 cup baesly pinto beans. (Crushed and thawed; minced fine you recipe)
1 tomato base
1 fat in the last 5 inch plates
1 garlic clove; crushed
1/4 cup dijon mustard

In a large bowl set aside. Remove the sides from the heat and saute with a fork and cover and cook on Low for 6 to 6 hours.

Yield: 6 servings
Morales

Rating: 0 stars

03/30/2008

I had high expectations for this recipe, but it was an outright flop. I don't know if the measurements were somehow incorrect or what, but I ended up with a watery mess that certainly wasn't crab salad. My girlfriend, who is a new chef liked it fine, but I really wish that the recipe didn't claim that it made six servings when it really made enough for one, if that's what we were going to call it.
Carole

Rating: 5 stars

Glorious sobs! This recipe will be delicious for a minumum of 1½ Hours to maximum 2½ hours Time to bring lots of fresh sized potatoes in the house or grow in the age may become quite famous
Amanda

Rating: 3 stars

11/13/2009

My friend is having a birthday party and will celebrate with Camping. She's in charge of the dishes and wanted to serve food at the campfire. I'll 10th grade, my easy information for her party. It will not sound strange anyway test this task with a note to work rationally.What to take trees, portable tables for chairs, the main meal, food. I personally love the taste of it but has anyone seen a shepherd (wasn't any spices), oysters. It is sufficient

It does kind of make sense that GPT-3’s recipe reviews aren’t directly complaining about the utter weirdness of char-rnn’s recipes. Probably very few of the recipe reviews in GPT-3’s training data involved baffled complaints about nonexistent or repeated ingredients, or apocalyptic levels of recipe failure. So GPT-3 has learned that even the critical reviews tend to fall within a certain sentiment range. It’s interesting that it tries to emulate char-rnn’s primitive neural net glitchiness - I’ve noticed before that GPT-3 seems to be capable of pretending to be a much simpler neural net.

After generating a few reviews, GPT-3 would sometimes go on to generate new recipes (such as “BBQ Cheeseburger Salad” which contains lime jello, whipped topping, and sliced black beans). It may have been deliberately trying to make them terrible to fit in with char-rnn’s recipes. Become a supporter of AI Weirdness to get these as bonus content!

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Speaking of AI-generated recipes: there are some absolute disasters in my book on AI, You Look Like a Thing and I Love You: Amazon - Barnes & Noble - Indiebound - Tattered Cover - Powell’s - Boulder Bookstore