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Candy Heart messages written by a neural network

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Fun Valentine’s Day project from Janelle Shane.

Around Valentine’s Day in the US and UK, these things called candy hearts (or conversation hearts or sweethearts) appear: small and sugary, bearing a simple, short Valentine’s message. There are only room for a few characters, so they read something like “LOVE YOU” or “CALL ME” or “BE MINE”.

I collected all the genuine heart messages I could find, and then gave them to a learning algorithm called a neural network. Given a set of data, a neural network will learn the patterns that let it imitate the original data – although its imitation is sometimes imperfect. The candy heart messages it produced… well, you be the judge.

The neural net did produce some that would pass for – and arguably improve upon – the standard messages.

Read more.


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