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I figured it was time for me to drag my arse into the twenty first century and at least learn how to program a neural network. It doesn't seem that complicated, but it occurs to me that I'll need quite a bit of training data.
Where can I go to get piles and piles of files? I was wondering whether I could train an AI reading a bunch of novels in text file format and then set it loose trying to write semi-intelligible sentences. Even if it's not text files, it seems that you need loads of well formatted raw data to train any AI and this is one of the things tech companies are super hungry for these days. Any other sort of raw, open, free data would suffice if anyone's got any hints.
I was thinking about writing it in BASIC (which is the only language I ever properly learnt, at the tender age of five, and so has stuck with me my whole life) or maybe in an Excel/LibreOffice Calc/Google Sheets spreadsheet (in which case free .CSV files might be preferable) because it'd be more visually comprehensible. I can just about read C++, I could probably write a neural network with it if I applied myself.
Has anyone else worked with neural networks? Are they difficult to program? What's the best language?