Neural networks are ‘trained’ by being exposed to large datasets, which they then try to create similar models of. The humour comes from the disconnect between what we humans would do and the imperfect approximation of the AI.

A recent project used machine learning to produce knitting patterns, though Shane herself didn’t knit. The project was suggested by a knitter who was reading her blog.

“I’d never even seen a knitting pattern,” she explained. Looking them up, she found they were text-based, a help because her neural nets train on text, but “I could also see it was going to be a struggle.”

She sought out the LSG forum on Ravelry, an online community for knitters, asked for help tracking down datasets of patterns, and then she set about training the AI. Then it was time to see what came out of the neural network’s designs.

Because she wasn’t a knitter, Shane went back to the forum. “I had to again rely on…all these knitters who thought the project sounded like a lot of fun. Read more from…

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