Writing the dreams of an insane AI
"Eclectic Beams" is a take on "Electric Dreams", referring to the psychedelic artificial intelligence concepts of the writer Philip K. Dick. Eclectic Beams is a 2020 lockdown project by me, Jakob Anderson. I decided to make use of the time I had at home, and learn text generation concepts in machine learning, and to write a program that could generate children's bedtime stories and read them aloud, all automatically.
The project started by using the GPT-2 model and a google colab notebook, and the stories ended up weird and disjointed. Not really fare for children, but the adults I've read these stories to said they were "spooky", so I doubled down on spookiness and strangeness in my reinforcements. I publish the stories just as the AI wrote them, only adding formatting. The name "Eclectic Beams" comes from my wife, Liz, who said "It's like the AI is beaming out its' strange and original thoughts".
Right now, I do a lot of curating, reading 100 or more extremely unusable stories it generates, just to find each of these only slightly insane ones. I hope to improve the workflow and model more over time to get more consistent results.
Any connection to existing fictional or real characters, people, trademarks, or whatever are probably incidental side-effects of the machine learning models being trained on publicly available text on the internet. I try to avoid references to known things, but I'm presenting the stories just as the AI writes them, with only selectional curation of results per generation, usually. If you or your works are incidentally mentioned in a story here, I'd like to hear of it. These magical black boxes we call ML models are surely strange, and I'd love to learn how it might have "thought" of your works in its' insane dreams. I don't claim any ownership over the copyright or trademark of provably pre-existing works that occur in these stories.
Phrases and Idioms I commonly use to seed story generation:
- This random word generator
- This random idiom generator
- This idiom Collection
- This cliche' collection
- This quotes dataset gist
- This phrase list
You can find this project on twitter at @eclecticbeams
You can find my other works at jakobanderson.com
Photo by Photos Hobby on Unsplash