AI Poised To Turn The Internet Into Gibberish

Last Thursday two lowly masters grad students, Aaron Gokaslan and Vanya Cohen managed to replicate the secretive OpenAI model and cheekily named their version OpenGPT-2. The code can be downloaded from this Google Colab page and apparently no prior experience in language modeling is required to use it. More useful might be the skills required to persuade Google to part with $50,000 worth of free cloud compute time for the training!

Research firm OpenAI released a new, ever more powerful, version of their GPT language model with 1.5 billion parameters, trained on a data-set of 8 million web pages and although it’s most entertaining use is to produce gibberish, it will inevitably also be able to produce coherent text sometime very soon. For us mere mortals, there’s a cut down version of the model hosted in the cloud and a webpage that we can visit, type in a short phrase to prompt the system, and print out a few paragraphs of fake news. We tried it with the following: “You can use an Arduino to” and the results were:

  • You can use an Arduino to remove your appendix. Use an open or closed loop, but do not use them at the same time, i.e. don’t wire your Arduino to the wall like I did. The Arduino’s are very noisy and can damage the circuit board. Be sure to use a good quality and high-quality resistor to connect them to the wall. You can also use your own antenna if you’d like.

The neural network works by taking the text that has been previously printed and using this to predict the next word sequentially. Because of it’s obscurity, our Arduino example is a pretty severe and rather unfair test on the system whilst in it’s fledgling infant state and, looking at the proper metrics, it actually performs quite well on certain standard industry test sets such as the Children’s Book Test.

Be sure to paste your own fake news into the comments below and we’ll take a vote on the one that’s most entertaining, but please keep it within the boundaries of good taste!

Whilst this is an emerging technology, somebody did get hold of it a while back and applied it to an old teleprinter!

 

AI-Enabled Teletype Live Streams Nearly Coherent Conversations

If you’ve got a working Model 33 Teletype, every project starts to look like an excuse to use it. While the hammering, whirring symphony of a teleprinter going full tilt brings to mind a simpler time of room-sized computers and 300 baud connections, it turns out that a Teletype makes a decent AI conversationalist, within the limits of AI, of course.

The Teletype machine that [Hugh Pyle] used for this interesting project, a Model 33 ASR with the paper tape reader, is a nostalgia piece that figures prominently in many of his projects. As such, [Hugh] has access to tons of Teletype documentation, so when OpenAI released their GPT-2 text generation language model, he decided to use the docs as a training set for the model, and then use the Teletype to print out text generated by the model. Initial results were about as weird as you’d expect for something trained on technical docs from the 1960s. The next step was obvious: make a chat-bot out of it and stream the results live. The teletype can be seen clattering away in the recorded stream below, using the chat history as a prompt for generating text responses, sometimes coherent, sometimes disturbing, and sometimes just plain weird.

Alas, the chat-bot and stream are only active a couple of times a week, so you’ll have to wait a bit to try it out. But it looks like a fun project, and we appreciate the mash-up of retro tech and AI. We’ve seen teleprinters revived for modern use before, both for texting and Tweeting, but this one almost has a mind of its own.

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Artificial Intelligence At The Top Of A Professional Sport

The lights dim and the music swells as an elite competitor in a silk robe passes through a cheering crowd to take the ring. It’s a blueprint familiar to boxing, only this pugilist won’t be throwing punches.

OpenAI created an AI bot that has beaten the best players in the world at this year’s International championship. The International is an esports competition held annually for Dota 2, one of the most competitive multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) games.

Each match of the International consists of two 5-player teams competing against each other for 35-45 minutes. In layman’s terms, it is an online version of capture the flag. While the premise may sound simple, it is actually one of the most complicated and detailed competitive games out there. The top teams are required to practice together daily, but this level of play is nothing new to them. To reach a professional level, individual players would practice obscenely late, go to sleep, and then repeat the process. For years. So how long did the AI bot have to prepare for this competition compared to these seasoned pros? A couple of months.

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