The neural network writes the episode list for next season’s Dr. Who

I’ve trained this open-source neural network framework on a variety of datasets, including recipes, Pokemon, knock-knock jokes, pick up lines, and D&D spells.

Now I give you: training a neural network on the complete list of Dr. Who episodes. (Big shout-out of thanks to blog readers Anya and Dan, who provided the dataset!)

The input dataset was simply the list of episodes, with no extra information given to the network – it has no idea even if this is English, or words, or a list rather than a paragraph or code.

Pretty much immediately, however, it figures out that “The” is important, as are the letter combinations “Do” and “Da”. The following is output from a very early generation, with the “temperature” (think “daringness”) variable turned to a very safe setting:

The Dont
The Dant
The Dant
The The Dant
The The Dont

If increase the temperature, forcing it to be more daring, it will try other letter combinations, but won’t give up on using “the”. Sometimes it’ll pile on a whole cascade of “the”s, in a fit of either panic or pique.

The Dinn
The Sons
The Ardeao
The Areir
The Wed on the The The Ans

Then, it finally learns to spell “Dalek” and never looks back.

Safe setting: (Daleks. Stick with the Daleks.)

The Sires of the Daleks
The Argass of the Daleks
The Arges of the Daleks
The Wire of the Daleks
The Argoss of the Daleks
The Argass of the Daleks
The Argas of the Daleks
The Daleks of the Daleks

Adventurous setting: (Nonsense words and Daleks)

The Wirs of the Arooss of the Daleks
The Pas of the Amse
The Aaression Ware
The Amios of the Lale
The Fist of the Daad
The Girg Bans

In later generations, it has learned the tiny input set by heart, and on the safe setting is able to reproduce the actual episodes word-for-word, in order. On the adventurous temperature setting, I’m able to force the neural network to make spelling mistakes, and its attempts to move back toward some spot in the original list make for some interesting new episodes.

I give you: Dr. Who episodes produced by a rather annoyed neural network.

The Stick of the Doctor
The Keds of Death
The Twin Doctors
The Ten Doctors
Cold Clood
The Unicorn and the Daleks
The Fires of Poop
The Beads of the Daleks
The Sontaren Beep
The Power of Tron
The Awkroids of Tara
The Agaves of The Doctor
Dinosaurs of the Deep
The Pirate Lover
Loodly Moysters
The Wheeen Death
The Bile Doctors
Planet of lime
The Crows of Doom
Planet of Fire in Space
The Poupon Invasion

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