Generating English village names with neural networks
I'm trying to wrap my head around the new generation machine learning tools: deep neural networks and the like. It feels like this technology is approaching where databases were 20-30 years ago: the tooling is getting easy enough that an idiot like me can have a stab at wiring something up, even if I don't quite understand all the magic incantations that I need to type. And it's pretty clear it's going to be important.
The world seems to be settling on Tensorflow, for now, so I had a go at getting something stupid up and running. I ended up making an English village name generator, using a corpus from OS Open Names (with a healthy amount of awk and grep), and a character level recurrent neural network written in Tensorflow.
Like I was with SQL many moons ago, I think I understand some of the principles, what's possible and what's not, and I can make sense of someone else's code - but it's a bit of struggle getting all the words in the right order when I have to change anything.
Anyway, the results are quite fun - here's 20 of them:
Green Mige Lane
And here's another 980.
Update: I turned this into a Twitter bot, @urnowentering.