Monkeys in the Machine

Monkeys in the Machine

Can a million monkeys given a million typewriters produce the collected works of Shakespeare? Considering the ethical concerns of forcing monkeys to write, paired with the sheer mess of that many mammals in one location, we might never know. Or will we?

Thanks to the wonders of modern computing, it's possible to _simulate_ monkeys emulating the Bard. Leveraging techniques like genetic algorithms, we can build a system that approximates a monkey armed with a typewriter. Digitally.

It's a fun exercise to prove a thought experiment, but also a powerful technical approach to leverage machine learning and rudimentary AI in various places. Together, we'll breed digital monkeys and show both how they can be used to answer the aforementioned Shakespearean question as well as produce generative results to more _practical_ problems.


Eric Mann

March 17, 2020