Unexpected results in ML & project updates

There was a recent paper that caught my eye that I think is worth sharing with anyone interested in the themes of my blog:

The Surprising Creativity of Digital Evolution: A Collection of Anecdotes from the Evolutionary Computation and Artificial Life Research Communities

If you’re into reading papers, definitely take a look at this one, if not, Károly Zsolnai-Fehér of Two Minute Papers did an excellent video about this paper. This is one of the things that really inspires my love of machine learning, and it’s great to see awareness of this really interesting stuff on the rise.

An additional note, if you haven’t yet, check out some other blogs hosting generative humor, including AI Weirdness and Botnik Studios (not neural networks, but still hilarious). There’s also a (very new) subreddit for Botnik with similar predictive text humor, so check that out.

Finally, since I’ve been getting a ton of new subscribers (Welcome!) an update on my current projects: The first one, which I’ll be doing a much more substantial write-up of some time in the next month, is a gimp plugin interface for Deep Dream. Here’s an example of the kind of stuff you might see some more of:


Tubingen with the “honeycomb” class deep-dreamed onto it

I’m really excited about this project finally coming together– once this is set up, I may look into the feasibility of porting it to a Photoshop plugin and/or creating a plugin for Neural-Style, since these tools really need to be put into the hands of artists.

The second is just learning more about reinforcement learning using the OpenAI Gym and (eventually) the Unity ML Agent framework.  But look! It learns:


Asynchronous Actor-Critic RL model playing Breakout

It’s not very smart yet, but it’s trying its best. (I’ve since switched to grayscale for better performance)

In the meantime, I’ve found a set of web scrapers that pull data from BoardGameGeek, so once I get that set up to get natural language descriptions instead of just ratings data, expect some AI-generated board games.

[last-minute edit]

I should also mention, I did run char-rnn on the database of Urban Dictionary results, but then realized belatedly that this website is on my resume which I hand out to employers, so I decided to do a bit more thinking about whether I wanted to dip into the NSFW on this blog. I’ll keep you updated on that.

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