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29 April 2022

​TV-3 channel uses neural network to promote film Gogol. Strashnaya Mest

TV-3 is continuing its non-standard promotion of the film Gogol. Strashnaya Mest (Gogol. The Terrible Revenge) - the final installment of the Gogol film series. In this newest marketing endeavor, a neural network, developed by Yandex, and the famous science fiction writer Sergei Lukyanenko created a story that follows the style of Nikolai Gogol’s Evenings on a Farm Near Dikanka.

Yandex’s neural network has already been used to come up with music in the style of popular bands and classical works, but this is the first time when Yandex’s artificial intelligence is testing its capabilities in literary prose.

The work on the story consisted of two parallel stages. While Sergei Lukyanenko came up with the main storyline and characters, the neural network got acquainted with the classics and learned to recognize Nikolai Gogol’s signature style. The experts at Yandex began by training the neural network using an array of Russian prose from more than 30,000 books and then separately acquainted it with the works of Gogol. As a result, the neural network learned to “invent” entire paragraphs of text that followed the stylistics of Gogol’s works. This technology was then applied to the plot of the future story, written by Sergei Lukyanenko. You can read the story that emerged out of this collaboration - called Durnoy Dogovor (A Bad Deal) - here:

“It is known that Gogol wrote his scariest, mythical stories - stories about Dikanka - based on folk legends and tales. The writer’s mother took down the words of peasants at her son’s request and sent them to him in St. Petersburg as letters. In a way, Durnoy Razgovor was created on the same principle, only the folklore collector was a machine, while its “mother,” that is, its assistant and mentor, was the modern day writer Sergei Lukyanenko. It turned out, in my opinion, to be a very cool experiment, just like our Gogol,” said Valery Fyodorovich, general manager of TV-3 channel.

The film Gogol. Strashnaya Mest will be released in cinemas on August 30. The film series was created by TV-3 channel and Sreda production company.