Machine Learning for Beginners: Teach Your Computer to Make Art!

Did you know computers can't think?

They look smart, but they need people like you to teach them to do things... like become a master artist!

Step by step, we'll show you how to teach your computer to make its own amazing art; with 'Machine Learning' and 10,000 pieces of art made by real people on Kano!

This project has three levels.


Level 1: 10 mins + download time
First, you'll tell your computer to fetch some files. Then you can leave them to download for 45-55 minutes.

Level 2: 5 mins + download time
This will take about 3 minutes to code. Then you can leave the programs to install for 25 - 35 minutes... just enough time to play a round of Pong.

Level 3: 10 mins + playtime
Finally, you will make your computer create its own art, just like this...

It would be a great idea to start the project in the morning, then let your Kano download and install the programs while you have lunch, or spend some time outside.

Get to know your keyboard.

Have a look at your keyboard. It’s full of characters.

A character is a letter, number or symbol - everything on your keyboard is a character.

You might discover some brand new characters in this project. Before you continue, see if you can find these:
~ : ;

Here are the buttons you need to press to make them appear.

Have your password ready.

Hint: Have you changed your password? If you haven’t changed it, your password will be ‘kano’.

Are you ready for Level 1? Let's Go!

1. Start the project in Classic mode.

Make sure you are in classic mode on your Computer Kit.


2. Open Terminal.

Terminal is a powerful program. You can give your computer commands that go straight into its brain.

Terminal pays attention to everything you type - every single character is important! This means that you need to make sure you type each command exactly as you see it written.

Always remember these Terminal Do’s and Don’ts.

  1. Include every space and capital letter.
  2. Double check that you have typed exactly the same characters you saw.
  3. Only press enter when the project asks you to.

Got it?

3. Find and copy the first program.

**Type this text into your Terminal.

cd ~

Press Enter.


Now type:
git clone ~/torch --recursive

Press Enter.

You have just told your computer where it will find a program called Torch. Torch gives your computer the ability to learn.

git means that you are using a program that lots of people have access to. Any changes other people make will be recorded, and the original program will be kept safe.

clone means that your computer is now copying this program from the internet.

This might take a minute or two.

The cursor will start flashing in the last line, after your user name, when it's finished.

4. Fetch the files to run Torch.

Torch needs some software to work – these are bundles of code that help Torch do its job.

Remember the Do’s and Don’ts!

Type: cd ~/torch; bash install-deps;

Press Enter.

Your computer will take about 60 minutes to download everything.

Just enough time for that sandwich!

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