You can use recurrent neural networks (RNNs) to generate text: feed one the names of death metal bands (say) and it will start creating it's own. Ditto ice-cream flavors, paint colors, Trump tweets, etc.
One popular package that allows the likes of me to play with this technology was developed by a data scientist, Max Woolf. He's got a great how-to page on his blog. Lifehacker also have an extremely simple and helpful guide that relies on Max's work.
What random text should I generate? I have to feed an RNN a few thousand examples before it can start creating its own (or at least creating text that feels realistic). Fortunately I found a list of all of Harlequin's books from 1949 to 2012; about 4400 titles in total. That is large enough to give the RNN a chance to identify the patterns in the titles, small enough that the RNN will not need to run for hours before giving a result.
You can find the full version of this in my git repository here. The short version is:
- Install python3, tensorflow, and textgenrnn on your computer.
- Create "training" and "run" scripts in python. The training script reads all the example data and discovers its underlying patterns, the run script generates new examples.
The RNN's "run" step has a temperature parameter that you can dial up or down betwen zero and one. I think this is something of a misnomer. Lifehacker describe it as a "creativity dial"; I prefer to think of it as a weirdness control. Here are some of the titles that the RNN produced, ordered by temperature.
TEMPERATURE: 0.2 The Man From The Heart The Baby Bonding The Wild Sister The Man In The Bride The Sun And The Sheikh The Sheikh's Convenient Wife
TEMPERATURE: 0.4 The Girl At Saltbush Bay The Bachelor And The Playboy The Dream And The Sunrancher The Touch Of The Single Man The Billionaire Bride Hunter's Daughter
TEMPERATURE: 0.6 The Wolf Of When A Savage Sanctuary The Rancher's Forever Drum Only My Heart Of Hearts The Sheikh's Daughter The Sheriff's Mother Bride
TEMPERATURE: 0.8 Chateau Pland The Golden Pag Just Mother And The Candles Reluctant Paragon The Unexpected Islands Expecting the Young Nurse
TEMPERATURE: 1.0 The Girl In A Whirlwind In Village Touch (Doctor Season) Rapture Of The Parka Portrait Of Works! "Trave Palagry Surrender, Baby" Bridegroom On Her Secret
So, which of these would you read?