Okay so the above reviews have some subtle clues that they might not have been written by real live humans. In fact, they’re the work of a text-generating neural network that OpenAI trained on millions of Amazon reviews. The color of the text reflects the activity level of a single neuron that the AI seems to be using to keep track of whether a review’s sentiment is positive or negative. There are more examples from this neural net in Chapter 3 of my book You Look Like a Thing and I Love You, where I look at the inner workings of a few kinds of machine learning algorithm. More on the book, including rejected titles! Fake news about the book!
Speaking of this book! Publication day is November 5th, and lots of things are happening!
If you’re a US resident, you can now get two greeting cards and a sheet of stickers by preordering my book! Indie preorders, event tickets (see below), preorders you placed months ago - all of those count! Just fill out this form to show my publisher your proof of purchase and tell them where to send the loot.
If you live in NYC, Denver, or Seattle, I’m coming to your city for a book event!
NYC - Wed, Oct 23 - Blue Point Brewing in Brooklyn - Preview of my book & TED talk screening. Attendees get preview copies of my book!
Denver - Wed, Nov 6 - Tattered Cover Colfax - Book launch, followed by traditional Irish music at the Irish Snug
Seattle - Tues, Nov 12 - Elliot Bay Book Company - Reading & signing! My first time in Seattle!
I spoke at the 2019 TED conference in April, and my talk will be online as of Oct 22! (That was also the time when I used a classic machine learning reward function hack in Simone Giertz’s robot workshop. Thanks for being a good sport Simone!) This is such a big deal that I’ll probably have another blog post just on the TED talk.
Not just neural networks, but real people really are saying nice things about my book!
“I can’t think of a better way to learn about artificial intelligence, and I’ve never had so much fun along the way.”
—ADAM GRANT, New York Times bestselling author of Originals
“A delightful way to learn about the technology that’s poised to change our lives.”
—ANNALEE NEWITZ, founder of io9 and author of Future of Another Timeline
“While everyone else is making questionable predictions about the future of AI, Janelle Shane cuts through the fog by telling you how AI actually works. And even better: she makes it fun!”
—ZACH WEINERSMITH, creator of Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal and New York Times bestselling author of Soonish
“Recommended for anyone who wants to better understand the strengths and limitations of artificial intelligence, but also for anyone who likes watching computers fail hilariously.”
—GRETCHEN MCCULLOCH, New York Times bestselling author of Because Internet
“An incredibly accessible, informative, and hilarious look at how the AIs deciding things around us operate.”
—RYAN NORTH, New York Times bestselling author of How to Invent Everything
“If you’re interested in knowing more about machine learning and artificial intelligence, or in trying to understand our robot overlords, or if you just love weird and interesting science, you can’t miss this book.”
—DAVID HA, lead researcher, Google Brain
“You Look Like a Thing and I Love You is a book that you can definitely get in here to hear the voice and see the pictures.”
—GPT-2, neural network
“Doused in a dark violet, you drag along a long rainbow cloud, one that is as alive and wet as it is interesting. A featureless masterpiece of tough-minded language.”
—GROVER, neural network
AI Weirdness supporters get bonus content: Some fake news articles about my book, generated using GROVER. Or become a free subscriber to get new AI Weirdness posts in your inbox!
Here are some links for ordering my book You Look Like a Thing and I Love You! It’s out November 5 2019. Preordering now is one of the best ways to help my book do well - it’s like a super duper order. Plus, US orders can get greeting cards and stickers as a perk!