AI Weirdness • 2020 headlines: “Midway through 2020, people started suggesting that I train a neural net on 2020 headlines, and I was skeptical that there would be enough weird ones to make a decent project. Then 2020 continued to be 2020.”
I wrote earlier about a neural net-powered dungeon crawling text adventure game called GPT-2-Adventure in which gameplay is incoherent and dreamlike, as you encounter slippery sign text, circular passages, and unexpected lozenge rooms. A PhD student named Nathan trained the neural net on classic dungeon crawling games, and playing it is strangely surreal, repetitive, and mesmerizing, like dreaming about playing one of the games it was trained on.
Now, building on these ideas (and on an earlier choose-your-own-adventure-style game he built), Nick Walton has built a new dungeon-crawling game called AI Dungeon 2. Nick made a few upgrades, such as beefing up the AI to the huge GPT-2-1.5B model OpenAI recently released, adding a penalty for repetitive text, and expanding the dungeon game training examples to a bunch of modern human-written games from chooseyourstory.com.
I CAN’T STOP PLAYING THIS GAME
Here’s the actual game site: AI Dungeon. Have fun!
Sometime between November 14th and November 29th, I thought this stuff was interesting. You might think so too!
- Neuroscience says listening to this song reduces anxiety by up to 65 percent: “The group that created ‘Weightless’, Marconi Union, did so in collaboration with sound therapists. Its carefully arranged harmonies, rhythms, and bass lines help slow a listener’s heart rate, reduce blood pressure and lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol.”
- Physicist Wins Ig Noble Prize For Study On Whether Cats Should Be Classified As Liquids Or Solids: "At the center of the definition of a liquid is an action: A material must be able to modify its form to fit within a container," Fardin said. "If we take cats as our example, the fact is that they can adapt their shape to their container if we give them enough time. Cats are thus liquid if we give them the time to become liquid."
- Pseudoarchaeology and the Racism Behind Ancient Aliens: “Where, exactly, the idea of ancient aliens building the pyramids began — and why some academics think racism lies at the heart of many extraterrestrial theories.”
- Do you have any advice for someone who is 16?: "Watch Star Trek. // I’m sorry anon. I realized belatedly that I basically just told you 'turn to Jesus!' and walked away without explanation. I’m absolutely not kidding, though: Star Trek. Especially in times of difficulty and change: watch Star Trek."
- This is the Greatest Example of Wanton Cruelty in All of the Star Wars Universe: "There’s a lot here that can be considered cruel—torture, enslavement, sadism, and so on—but the really cruel thing isn’t directly happening in the scene, but it does make the scene possible. It’s the fact that droids can feel pain."
Woohoo! We’ve reconfigured a few areas of the network here at Casey’s house, and it seems that things are back up and fully functional for me again. So, as things go here, I’ll do my best to return to updating my pages on a regular basis. I know, I know, something of a shock after about a month of near-nonexistent updates…but I’ll try.
Things for me are still in something of a holding pattern at the moment. I got word from the landlord of my apartment complex that the carpets are scheduled to be installed this Monday, so I should finally be able to get into my place Monday afternoon/evening sometime. I’ve made the requisite calls to the telephone and electric companies and am all set up there, so should be good to go as soon as I get the word from the landlord on Monday. I’ll be sending out the mailing address and phone number to those who need it in the near future.
Internet access options for me are still being investigated. I’m hoping to get set with a DSL line, I just need to get in contact with the local ISP‘s to see if my apartment has that as an option. I’m assuming it does — I’m going to be living right on Capitol Hill, just about 20 blocks or so uphill from downtown Seattle — but I’m not entirely sure yet. In any case, Casey has graciously allowed me to keep my webserver at his place until I have things up and running at my apartment, so the server shouldn’t be going down again at all, however there may be a couple weeks where my online abilities are severely limited until I get my own connection up and running. It’ll all get straightened out eventually — I’m just glad to have friends down here who are able and willing to assist me in all of this
In other news, I’ve been playing a lot with my digital camera since I got it. I took some time recently to stitch together some panoramas I’d taken. The first three were all taken before I left Alaska — from top to bottom, the Inlet as seen from Earthquake Park in Anchorage, a view of the Palmer hayflats where I hit a bonfire with some friends, and Jewel Lake, a popular destination in South Anchorage.
The fourth shot was taken at Gasworks Park here in Seattle during the 4th of July celebrations, about an hour before the fireworks display. I wanted to try and capture the sheer mass of people — later reports placed it at around 6,000 people just at this park (and it was one of two major fireworks displays within Seattle). I think it came out pretty decently.
I’ve been out to see two movies since I came down here so far — since it’s been a bit since I’ve seen them, I’ll just give brief rundowns of each. First off was Atlantis, Disney’s latest animated flick — another fun one from Disney. Not one of their all-time classics, but very enjoyable, with some absolutely breathtaking animation at times. More recently was A.I., the Spielberg/Kubrick sci-fi collaboration. In brief — I believe it to be an astounding piece of work, quite possibly Spielberg’s best work yet, and a film that, while getting wildy mixed reviews, is very likely to stand the test of time like few other recent films. Very, very impressive filmmaking, and my hat is off to Spielberg, Kubrick, and the rest of the forces behind this film. I’ll most likely post more about it after I’ve had a chance to see it a second time.
That’s the majority of the big news so far. As mentioned earlier, now that things are up and running again, I’ll do my best to return to a more reliable update schedule here. It’s good to be back….