Well, it’s January 2020, and the day has finally come: I can no longer operate the software that made this essay interactive. I’ll leave the text up, but please understand that this essay is now considered “broken.” That’s the challenge this kind of presentation poses: it’s very cool when it works, but then—and this happens eventually, inevitably, entropically—it doesn’t.
Imagine a sentence. "I went looking for adventure."
Imagine another one. "I never returned."
Now imagine a _sentence gradient_ between them---not a story, but a smooth interpolation of meaning. This is a weird thing to ask for! I'd never even bothered to imagine an interpolation between sentences before encountering the idea in [a recent academic paper](https://arxiv.org/abs/1511.06349). But as soon as I did, I found it captivating, both for the thing itself---a sentence… gradient?---and for the larger artifact it suggested: a dense cloud of sentences, all related; a space you might navigate and explore.
Here’s what a neural network instructed to produce such a cloud of sentences (specifically, sentences from science fiction) delivers when you ask it to draw a gradient between "I went looking for adventure." and "I never returned."
You can replace the sentence above with your own and
The ship rose from the planet's farm surroundings.
The ship rose from the planet's great surface.
The ship rose from the planet's green corridor.
The ship rose from the rocks of a great mountain.
The ship rose from the planet's farm surface.