This comic probably needs some explanation!

Rather than doing more of my normal spoopy Halloween comics, I decided to commune with the dead through the power of math: how sca–aaa—aary!

What I actually did was train a recurrent neural network (RNN) on the works of some famous authors, using text from Project Gutenberg. The RNN “learns” the style of the author, and you can use it to generate more text like the input you give it. You can even “prime” it by giving it a few words to start off with. I decided to let the authors tell me what to draw for today’s cartoon by priming the models with “Draw a cartoon about .”

I owe all of the code and background information on this to the awesome blog post and source code posted here and here respectively. Both were written by Andrej Karpathy, whose other blog posts and website you should definitely check out!!