We have lost Janelle Shane in the Meta-verse

You may already be familiar with the very fun person whose writing includes the book, You Look Like a Thing and I Love You. She tests AI networks by training them on large samples of certain kinds of writing, then takes a look at the output when they try to reproduce such things. In the olden days of 3 or 4 years ago, the “writing” was extremely short. AI couldn’t manage much in the way of good grammar, so things spun off the rails very quickly if you asked for even 5 words in a row. As a result, much of the fun she originally shared on her blog consisted of things like AI-generated names for hypothetical metal bands. Later there were song titles. Still later things got longer, although that worked best when working with very predictable data sets, like AI-generated recipes.

But as time has gone on, the AI networks with which Shane experiments have gotten more capable, and she has finally decided to go full meta. She asked an AI network to generate a blog post for her own blog by training it on her past blog posts. The very first one was quite sharp:

Welcome to AI Weirdness! In today’s blog post, I wondered what would happen if I trained a neural net to generate numbers in the range [-1,1].
As you might expect, the neural net started generating numbers that were more than a little odd: 0.9286401128496419 0.06491227721694329 0.9879906435756054 0.745677946535383 0.679450170988766 0.1065339560745793 -0.2977483969426606 0.05673549481890381 0.4304206725753945 0.7544217043730188 -0.8960721608636865 0.7224255864247317 -0.2139997613483644 0.0295771285597738 0.619233475195753 0.05578493537857566 -0.630712498931699 -0.0506476255464803 0.3256973044703828 0.0988207888549295

Isn’t that one awesome? I mean, when I saw “-0.6307…” I just knew it was going to be hysterical, and then it ended “…31699” and I just completely lost it. OMG 2 FUN-E! 

Yet now I am left with the tragic notion that in the future, I will never know whether a post on Shane’s blog was written by her with a bit of AI output placed where she consciously chose to put it, or written by the AI from scratch. I have lost Shane to meta-space. Make sure you go and get your last look at her blog before Skynet takes over.



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