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History and Places According to a Neural Network


Generating text using a Neural Network - A Study in Machine Imagination

neural networks
Image by Ahmed Gad from Pixabay


The frontiers of computer science are rapidly advancing in the fields of neural networks and machine learning. Computers are starting to be able to create text which makes sense and is on topic. An entire novel and a play have already been created an published, though neither was any good. Computers have a long way to go.

However they are still able create impressive prose stories and essays. The example below illustrates what they are capable of, which is basically creating a coherent though completely fictitious text, with plausible facts and figures, that is readable and makes sense except it is completely divorced from facts or reality.




The Experiment


For this experiment, case I took the first few paragraphs of an article about a place found on the French Wikipedia and then translated it from French to English using Google's translation tool. I chose to randomly select an article in a foreign language and then translate it into English so that the "seed" text would not be so obvious to the neural network. In other words I did not want it to cheat by googling the source material and adapting its output accordingly. I wanted to see if it could figure out what it was writing about.

Then I fed the resulting snippet of text into Inferkit.com's neural network, which is free to use on a limited basis. The results are interesting and essentially amount to an alternate reality version of the Palace.

Here is the original snippet translated from Wikipedia:


The Montehermoso Palace is a building with an origin in the XVI century, although it is very restored, located in the city of Vitoria in the province of Alava in the Basque Country (Spain), specifically in the most important part and old town, in the area known as the Campillo. historically it had several uses, the penultimate being that of serving as episcopal see. Currently, after a deep restructuring and the expansion of its area by the annexation of the old water reservoir of Vitoria–Gasteiz (Antiguo Deposito d'Aguas de Vitoria), the building opens its doors as Montehermoso Cultural Center, oriented on artistic exhibitions and musical performances

A Place in the Neural Network's Imagination


a castle of the imagination created by bits and bytes instead of bricks





And this is what the neural network added to it. The specificity of detail that makes it seem as if it knows what it is talking about:


The Montehermoso Palace is a building with an origin in the XVI century, although it is very restored, located in the city of Vitoria in the province of Alava in the Basque Country (Spain), specifically in the most important part and old town, in the area known as the Campillo. historically it had several uses, the penultimate being that of serving as episcopal see. Currently, after a deep restructuring and the expansion of its area by the annexation of the old water reservoir of Vitoria-Gasteiz (Antiguo Deposito d'Aguas de Vitoria), the building opens its doors as Montehermoso Cultural Center, oriented on artistic exhibitions and musical performances.

The core of the building is situated in an unusual configuration, asif it had fallen off in different directions: the palace stretches atan even diagonal with respect to the edge of the mountain overlookingit, the slope rising to a height of over 110 meters in the mostwestern corner. This one still stands, albeit in a complete ruin,seemingly ending in two legs or columns, placed at random about threemeters apart, and reduced to their upper part, but in fact they havebeen separated by an enormous piece of stone, resembling the upperpart of the column of a church, turning around its axis and endingperpendicularly to it.

This is the curious bulge and structure located in the most extremepart of the facade, halfway to the top of a sloping slope thatconsists of seven different masses, constructed on a slightly largerrectangle of eight bricks, in an elongated form that gives rise to oneof the most wonderful characteristics of the building, one of the mostrecognizable ones in the whole Montehermoso district: the strangebulge, which causes its several forms to appear as they werefragmented and broken into separate blocks, revealing an extraordinarygeometry.

Inside the Montehermoso Palace you can see a large fireplace andseveral preserved wooden pieces of furniture, such as the externalfireplace with two stone pillars and two ornate consoles, thefireplace on the main floor with two doors and an open fire with waterpipes, and the smaller fireplace in the lobby.

The two openings that surround the corner of the fountain in the mainfacade, and reach perpendicularly to it (a bridge resting on threegranite columns in a characteristic shape, and also with the samecurved shape on each side), have a history of some 800 years, as farback as the conquest of Vitoria by the Spanish kings, in the reign ofSancho IV. However, it was one of the owners of the MontehermosoPalace, Luis Martin de Sanz, a scholar and teacher at the JesuitCollege of Vitoria, who introduced the monastic customs of Franciscanfriars in the Monastery of Montehermoso. This influenced theconstruction of the windows of the church (the buildings are closelyrelated and it would be an error not to recognize them), and thedecorations in the interior.

This new construction initiated the modernization of Montehermoso asone of the biggest cities of Alava and the Basque Country, a sign ofpower and wealth at that time. Since then the Montehermoso Palace hasbecome an icon of the heritage of the Basque Country, and its core,housing the House of Ambrosio, has always been part of this heritage.

More on wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Montehermoso_Palace

For more information: https://vitoriamillioncavarsin.com/tour-packages**[This website appears to be invented by the Neural Network!]**

Embark on a unique cultural and cultural journey to the heart of oneof the most intriguing destinations in Spain. Follow the winding walkup to the famous castle, gazing out over the ...


What struck me about the neural network's write up is that it is actually interesting. It seems to be describing a real place, with a history, with landmarks and features, things that you could actually see and touch, but none of what it says is true. Imagine what will happen when bots like this are unleashed in the real world and begin writing news articles (already the case to a limited extent) and the Wikipedia entries themsleves.Let's see what happens when we get the neural network to write about a real life historical event. To what extent will its output be consistent with the historical facts. I try this out in the next section where I get the Neural Network to teach me history.


Even More on Neural Networks:







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