Sunday, May 10, 2020

He trained a language model on fantasy books, and it generated some intriguing descriptions of cities

Robin Sloan's ongoing newsletter about the video game he's developing is terrific. Last week he explained:

In the first half of this week, I trained a language model (a phrase which you now understand because you watched that talk, right??) on a collection of fantasy books and fairy tales that suit POTO’s style. In the week’s second half, while I worked on implementing the city of Port Fabri in Ink—it’s now called Porto Fabri, by the way—a computer in my office churned away, its three GPUs piping hot, generating tiny descriptions of imaginary cities.

There are now thousands of these descriptions—far too many for me to read and review.
He asked people to read and grade the creations. Here are some of the gems people found (I ranked several last week but didn't luck into anything great):
A traveler in Facto Shibokawa had to beware the witch and the dragon, the dragon who devoured the people of the city, and the witch who knew all about the sacrifices that had been made to gain the city’s wealth. One must always beware of the witch and the dragon in Facto Shibokawa.

...

Therefore, Forta Altilla was a major concentration of training for anyone wanting to stretch one’s kinesis edge in all possible directions. Yet when the young Teck guys like you traveled from place to place, they would be anomalous: their outerwear was exquisite. They favored silk.

...

The river had little to do, and the mountain was happy.

...

The main export of Ptera was candor. Its residents were of all ages and professions. All of them were gentle, kind, and honest.