Author: Natalka


Creating a Mastodon bot in Python

Bleps always cheer me up, so I decided to create a Mastodon bot that posted one blep a day. (A blep is a picture of an animal with a tiny bit of its tongue sticking out, and Mastodon is a decentralized alternative to Twitter.)

Creating a Mastodon bot in Python was surprisingly easy, thanks to the library. I’ve documented all the steps here, along with links to tutorials for each library or builtin feature that I used.

Have you created any Mastodon or Twitter bots? Let me know in the comments!
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AI Image Denoising

I tried some free AI Image Denoising tools on a noisy, low-light photo. I had big hopes for a very sweet picture that’s just too noisy to put in a frame. Unfortunately, free tools didn’t get me anywhere.

Result: I can’t tell the difference between the original and the supposedly “denoised” image. 0/10 might as well not have bothered.

DeepAI Super Resolution model
using Super Resolution torch-srgan
Result: The image was noticeably denoised, but the result wasn’t very impressive.
Following enhance, the quality was still poor.

The free denoising is limited to 3000×3000 px, so I had to crop the picture.
Result: Another poor quality, unimpressive result.
After a series of unsatisfying results, I told it “do nothing”. and it closed the eyes and added some wrinkles. ooookay.
The prompt “watercolour painting, pastel colours, photorealistic, detailed image” was better but still mangled the face a bit horribly, and this algorithm seems really determined to make smiling faces squint.

AI Dungeon Welcome Screen

Using GPT-2 as a continuous writing prompt generator via AI Dungeon

OpenAI has released an API for accessing GPT-3, an AI text generator that’s capable of generating much longer responses than GPT-2. The API is currently in closed beta, and while I’ve requested access, I haven’t gotten it (yet?) But, I learned from Mario Dian’s blog about AI Dungeon, a text-based dungeon game powered by GPT-2 and/or GPT-3. Imagine a text-based adventure game, like Zork–that’s the feel of AI Dungeon, but instead of being programmed behind the scenes by something like ChoiceScript, it’s using GPT-2 (free version) or GPT-3 (paid version) to generate text.

I’m interested in exploring GPT-2 and GPT-3 for fiction generation, so I gave the free version of AI Dungeon a try as I was working on a short piece of flash fiction. I didn’t want AI Dungeon to write a story for me, or even to write parts of a story. I wanted to use it as a tool to spur my own creativity. Read more

Scraping web data

I wanted to get some data off an agent listing website and into a spreadsheet. I’d been meaning to play around with python for web scraping and this was the perfect excuse: There were just enough results that it would take longer to manually copy and paste them than to write a little python program. (I never want to automate something that will take less time to do than to automate, as long as I’m only going to do it once or twice…)
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Jami (Gnu Ring) review

An unavoidable fact of database support life is webconferences with clients or users. Most of the time, we’re more interested in what’s going on onscreen than in each others’ faces. But every now and then we need to have a face-to-face. Skype is popular, but I recently had the chance to try out a FOSS alternative with better security: Jami.
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