Me, My Neural Network, and Game of Thrones


Zack Thoutt - Game of Thrones - Neural Network - Udacity

Editor’s Note: This post is written by Zackarey Thoutt. He’s a Udacity Nanodegree program graduate. You may recognize his name, as he’s been all over the media lately. Vice’s Motherboard magazine put it like this: Neural Network Wrote the Next ‘Game of Thrones’ Book Because George R.R. Martin Hasn’tZack created that neural network, and in this post, he shares how it all came to be.


As I was getting ready to graduate from Udacity’s Deep Learning Foundations Nanodegree program, I began to wonder what to do next. I needed a new project to keep my skills sharp. One episode into Season 7 of Game of Thrones (I’m a huge fan!), the idea hit me—why not train a network to write new chapters for the book we’re all waiting for?

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Calling All International Data Science Enthusiasts: Win $10,000 and a Spot at the IJCAI2017 Conference!

Win $10,000

Udacity is very excited to announce a new competition, and a new partnership!

We are proud to be the exclusive education partner—with e-commerce giant Alibaba—for a new challenge hosted by Alibaba and IJCAI2017, a top conference in AI space, and the main international gathering of researchers in the field.

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Machine Learning Is Everywhere: Netflix, Personalized Medicine, and Fraud Prevention

Machine Learning - Personalized Medicine

“Machine Learning is everywhere.” This is a phrase we see often these days, and it’s pretty close to a genuine truism. Netflix, Amazon, Siri, Pandora, the list goes on. But it’s not just entertainment and media. It’s also everything from the post office to healthcare to traffic to security. Really close analysis suggests that, for a great many of us, virtually every moment of our lives is touched at some point by Machine Learning.

Is this a good thing?

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Lee Se-dol vs. AlphaGo: The Matches So Far

As we near what could be the deciding match in the history-making meeting between AlphaGo and Lee Se-dol, we pause to review what’s taken place so far, and what it all means.


AlphaGo, Google’s Go-playing Artificial Intelligence software, has done the unthinkable. It has taken a 2-0 lead against Lee Se-dol, the world’s best Go player, in a series of matches that have already rewritten human history as we know it. And there is still more to come!

This is no publicity stunt. The technology is real, the victory genuine, and the change monumental. We’ve woken to a new morning for humankind—a world where machines can learn. By utilizing Deep Learning techniques, DeepMind (Google’s AI lab) has essentially been able to “train” the software to teach itself how to play, to improve with every move, and to ultimately master one of the most complex games ever invented.

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