Generating text using a Neural Network – A Study in Machine Imagination
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.
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
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, as if it had fallen off in different directions: the palace stretches atan even diagonal with respect to the edge of the mountain overlooking it, the slope rising to a height of over 110 meters in the most western corner. This one still stands, albeit in a complete ruin,seemingly ending in two legs or columns, placed at random about three meters apart, and reduced to their upper part, but in fact they have been separated by an enormous piece of stone, resembling the upper part of the column of a church, turning around its axis and ending perpendicularly to it.
This is the curious bulge and structure located in the most extreme part of the facade, halfway to the top of a sloping slope that consists of seven different masses, constructed on a slightly larger rectangle of eight bricks, in an elongated form that gives rise to one of the most wonderful characteristics of the building, one of the most recognizable ones in the whole Montehermoso district: the strange bulge, which causes its several forms to appear as they were fragmented and broken into separate blocks, revealing an extraordinary geometry.
Inside the Montehermoso Palace you can see a large fireplace and several preserved wooden pieces of furniture, such as the external fireplace with two stone pillars and two ornate consoles, the fireplace on the main floor with two doors and an open fire with water pipes, and the smaller fireplace in the lobby.
The two openings that surround the corner of the fountain in the main facade, and reach perpendicularly to it (a bridge resting on three granite 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 Montehermoso Palace, Luis Martin de Sanz, a scholar and teacher at the Jesuit College of Vitoria, who introduced the monastic customs of Franciscan friars in the Monastery of Montehermoso. This influenced the construction of the windows of the church (the buildings are closely related and it would be an error not to recognize them), and the decorations in the interior.
This new construction initiated the modernization of Montehermoso as one of the biggest cities of Alava and the Basque Country, a sign of power and wealth at that time. Since then the Montehermoso Palace has become 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 one of the most intriguing destinations in Spain. Follow the winding walk up 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 themselves.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 post where I get the Neural Network to teach me history.