A guinea pig rescue center had a neural network brilliantly name their fluffballs of joy

Neural networks are good at a lot of things. The technology is used in a variety of contexts, from finance to self-driving cars. I’m going to go out on a limb here, but I think this is the best use of neural networks, perhaps ever?

A guinea pig rescue center in Portland, Oregan asked Janelle Shane — a super-smart electrical engineer with a PHD from UC San Diego — to design a neural network that could name its adorable little balls of floof. She didn’t disappoint.

Meet Buzzberry and After Pie.

And these two cutiepies are Fleury White and Stargoon.

Shane created her model by feeding the neural network a sample of example guinea pig names — like Snickers, Pumpkin, Ginger, and Rascal. This list came from every guinea pig the center had ever rescued, as well as the names of their own pet guinea pigs, and every guinea pig they could find online.

The neural network took it from there, and generated dozens of other amazing names, including Gooper, Fuzzable, and Hanger Dan (Hanger Dan! I can’t even).

It also produced some spectacular duds, like:

  • Me
  • Madly Mean
  • Pot
  • Mucky
  • Fusty
  • Fleshy
  • Trickles
  • Butty Brlomy
  • Moonyhen
  • Boooy
  • Bho8otteeddeeceul

Janelle Shane has previously trained neural networks to name metal bandsPokémon characters, and hilariously, colors. This is the first time they’ve been used to name living animals, however.

It’s bloody lovely stuff. You can read her write-up about it here. And if you’re in the Portland area and want your own adorable, AI-named guinea pig, you can see the list of potential adoptees here.

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