A neural network invents diseases you don’t want to get
Science fiction writers and producers of TV medical dramas: have you ever needed to invent a serious-sounding disease whose symptoms, progression, and cure you can utterly control? Artificial intelligence can help!
Blog reader Kate very kindly compiled a list of 3,765 common names for conditions from this site, and I gave them to an open-source machine learning algorithm called a recursive neural network, which learns to imitate its training data. Given enough examples of real-world diseases, a neural network should be able to invent enough plausible-sounding syndromes to satisfy any hypochondriac.
Early on in the training, the neural network was producing what were identifiably diseases, but probably wouldn’t fly in a medical drama. “I’m so sorry. You have… poison poison tishues.”
Much Esophageal Eneetems
Poison Poison Tishues
As the training got going, the neural network began to learn to replicate more of the real diseases - lots of ventricular syndromes, for example. But the made-up diseases still weren’t too convincing, and maybe even didn’t sound like diseases at all. (Except for RIP Syndrome. I’d take that one seriously)
Cancer of Cancer
Bull Cancer Spisease
The neural network eventually progressed to a stage where it was producing diseases of a few basic varieties :
First kind of disease: This isn’t really a disease. The neural network has just kind of named a body part, or a couple of really generic disease-y words. Pro writer tip: don’t use these in your medical drama.
Cysts of the Biles
Lower Right Abdomen
Cancer of the Diabetes
Second kind of disease: This disease doesn’t exist, and sounds reasonably convincing to me, though it would probably have a different effect on someone with actual medical training.
Vertical Hemoglobin Fever
Verticular Pasocapheration Syndrome
Strecting Dissection of the Breath
Bacterial Fradular Syndrome
Lower Veminary Hypertension Deficiency
Loss Of Consufficiency
Gumpetic Surpical Escesion
Helritis and Flatelet’s Ear
Third kind of disease: Sounds both highly implausible but also pretty darn serious. I’d definitely get that looked at.
Black Bote Headache
Excessive Woot Sweating
Teenagerna Vain Syndrome
Hammon Expressive Foot
Hoin and Sponster
Cancer of the Cancer
Cold Glock Allergy
Cancer Of Hydrogen Bingplarin Disease
Causes of the ladder Exposure
Hop D Treat Decease
Diseases of the fourth kind: These are the, um, reproductive-related diseases. And those that contain unprintable four-letter words. They usually sound ludicrous, and entirely uncomfortable, all at the same time. Rather than print them here, I’ll leave them to your imagination.
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