GUINEA PIG rescuers (it's a real job) have used artificial intelligence to name their charges.
The rescue centre in Portland, Oregon worked with electrical engineer and UC San Diego alumni Janelle Shane to come up with a neural network to name guinea pigs. Because who needs a cure for cancer or the answer to life?
Janelle Shane, you may recall has come up with something similar recently to name heavy metal bands, complete with back story and sub-genre.
But now she turns her attention to matters of the cage.
"It turns out that the Portland Guinea Pig Rescue often takes in many unnamed guinea pigs at once when they encounter hoarding situations, or sometimes they decide to rename a guinea pig to increase its chance of being adopted. They wanted to know if, given a list of typical guinea pig names ("Snickers", "Pumpkin", "Ginger", "Rascal", etc), a neural network could learn to generate more names. Yes, I said. Given a list."
And so armed with a database of every guinea pig that had ever been rescued, the neural network began to learn how to name fluffballs. And despite not actually having any concept of what a guinea pig is, it used linguistics and other clever stuff to come up with some very plausible guinea pig names.
Our favourites: Fuzzable, Fabsy, Bless, Gooper, Spockers, Splanky and Fufbey.
And some didn't go so well: Me, Pot, Fleshy, Trickles, Butty, Briomy and Bho8otteeddeeceul. We think it was trying to do something with the word "besotted" and missed.
Also in the list of shame is "Boooy" which we quite like because you can say "yeeeeeah boooy" to your guinea pig like some bewildering Public Enemy tribute. Moonyhen is quite cute too.
All these guinea pigs can be yours (especially if you live in Oregon as the postage will be cheaper and chances of survival greater).
In some cases, they have cheated - you may recognise a few of Janelle's paint colours and action figures have crept in, but nevertheless, the first guinea pigs to be named by artificial intelligence are here for your "EEEEEEE LOOKATAFLOOOOOOF!" pleasure. From top to bottom: Popchop & Fuzzable, Buzzberry & After Pie, Fleury White & Stargoon. Because of course. µ
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