Query on Our Own Handwriting

Create a test dataset of our own handwriting and see how well our neural network performs.

Test dataset of our handwriting

We have been using images of handwritten numbers from the MNIST dataset. Why not use our own handwriting?

In this experiment, we’ll create a test dataset using our own handwriting. We’ll also try using different styles of writing, and noisy or shaky images to see how well our neural network copes.

We can create images using any image editing or painting software we like. We don’t have to use Photoshop. GIMP is a free, open-source alternative available for Windows, Mac, and Linux. We can even use a pen on paper and photograph our writing with a smartphone or camera, or use a proper scanner. The only requirement is that the image is square (the width is the same as the length), and we save it as PNG format. We’ll often find the format option under File > Save As, or File > Export in the image editor. Here are some images we made:

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