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"Furry Wolf Candy": neural network invents fursona names

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Cat on laptop - Just Browsing, cropped copy, photo by Wilson Afonso, Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.Can a computer dream of being a human? What if it dreamed of being a human who dreamed of being a talking animal? With the help of Janelle Shane, a research scientist in photonics, we may just find out what furry aliases such a machine would create.

Janelle has achieved fame for her humorous use of artificial intelligence to generate names for things such as pubs, diseases, beers, and My Little Ponies. She's also directed neural networks to create recipes and write Harry Potter fanfiction.

With GreenReaper's help, I extracted an undifferentiated list of ~11,000 names of furries who have pages on WikiFur. Dr. Shane used these as the basis for a neural network to invent more.

Results

The two variables that most substantially affected the results were (a) the number of times the neural network processed the list; and (b) the "temperature", a measure of creativity that ranges from 0 (uncreative) to 1 (daring). She provided the results of eight stages of name generation. Here are, in my sole opinion, five of the best from each.

With few iterations and low creativity, the neural network latched onto the word "Shadow" and wouldn't let go:

  • Mitter Starker
  • Shadow Stone
  • Shadow Fox
  • Shadow Shepherd
  • Mark Starles

Animal names started to emerge with creativity turned up, but it's still kind of a letter salad:

  • Alix Roo
  • Lack Black
  • Kari Baller
  • Marthel Dragon
  • Moully Silversanper SilverMox

With more experience and low creativity, it's come to recognize a fair number of first names.

  • Shadow (person)
  • Sandy Fox
  • Ron Steel
  • Alex Steelen
  • Silver Fox

Now, turn up the creativity.

  • Shadow Winger
  • Red Husky
  • Ame A. Wolfn
  • Porain
  • Solding Wolf

At this point, she left the creativity up and just kept giving it more "experience".

  • DragonPund
  • Farawind
  • Rongs Mittle
  • Furry Wolf Candy
  • Chewings

...and more...

  • Pandy the Cheetah
  • Alica Wolfe
  • Sparky Furry
  • Rock Pup
  • Dalack Golf Fox

...and more. Here it seemed to go a bit off the rails.

  • Smick the Blue Fox
  • Kuryd Harshain
  • Spectwolphes
  • Ferris Paws
  • LionVootion

...but righted itself, sort of. Still fixated on "Shadow", by the way.

  • Chair Coyote
  • Snarky Wolf
  • Shadow Le Bartley
  • Scott Whitefox
  • Coontain

So — what do you think "Furry Wolf Candy" (or any of the other generated names) would look like? If any of these fursonas tickles your artistic fancy, please tweet your artwork with the hashtag #furralnetwork. After all, it is the neural network's birthday and they can't afford commissions.

Comments

Your rating: None

Shadow Fox is a bit on the nose there neural network. Should have went with ShadowFox1223421

Your rating: None Average: 5 (2 votes)

A bit on the snout*

Your rating: None

In fairness, there are a lot of Shadows on WikiFur.

Your rating: None Average: 5 (1 vote)

It is a dark, dark place.

Your rating: None

Where's that damn fourth [iterative pass of the data sample set]?

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May it be with you!

Your rating: None Average: 5 (1 vote)

Except maybe the second last set, those are all completely believable and I would never have guessed they were generated and not made by actual furs.

"If all mankind minus one, were of one opinion, and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person, than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind."
~John Stuart Mill~

Your rating: None Average: 5 (1 vote)

With Dr. Janelle's consent, here's the full output (with her explanation of the neural network's settings).

---

Quick note of explanation: epochX.XX_Y.YYYY

X.XX is how many times through the training data set we've cycled
Y.YYYY is how good the neural network thinks its results are. Lower numbers are better.
temperature is creativity level. 0.1 shows you the most cautious results, while numbers nearer 1 are more creative.

th sample.lua cv/lm_lstm_epoch3.11_2.2117.t7 -length 300 -temperature 0.1 -seed 1
Mitter Starker
Shadow Stone
Shadow Fox
Shadow Shepherd
Mark Starles

th sample.lua cv/lm_lstm_epoch3.11_2.2117.t7 -length 300 -temperature 0.7 -seed 11
Kais Coyote
Alix Roo
Mory Fox
Lack Black
Tooswolf
Allakith (wantian)
Krinna Scollin
Gurnes Wolf
Kari Baller
MingaKeatel Foxx
Jook Solber
Marthel Dragon
Canda Flock
Moully Silversanper SilverMox

th sample.lua cv/lm_lstm_epoch4.67_2.1736.t7 -length 300 -temperature 0.1 -seed 11
Shadow (person)
Sandy Fox
Ron Steel
Alex Steelen
Shadow (person)
Silver Fox

th sample.lua cv/lm_lstm_epoch4.67_2.1736.t7 -length 300 -temperature 0.7 -seed 11
Shadow Winger
Sideon Steames
Red Husky
Ame A. Wolfn
Porain
Kyoray
Solding Wolf

th sample.lua cv/lm_lstm_epoch6.23_2.1598.t7 -length 300 -temperature 0.7 -seed 11
Shadow Frosswall
Dnowdrebon
Cobert
DragonPund
White Canneo
Jennee Crown
Aston Leen
Ane Charrin
Dostar Saber
Farawind
Rongs Mittle
Lutarus Katsune
Furry Wolf Candy
Chewings

th sample.lua cv/lm_lstm_epoch7.78_2.1835.t7 -length 300 -temperature 0.7 -seed 11
Brackie (person)
Pandy the Cheetah
Lea (Tilliria)
Alica Wolfe
Sparky Furry
Saran Sandrew
Rock Pup
Dalack Golf Fox
Crown Sarridel
Shadow (person)
Ssuki Sabbea
Blaze Mantighe
Rose Foxxie

th sample.lua cv/lm_lstm_epoch9.34_2.1868.t7 -length 300 -temperature 0.7 -seed 11
Smick the Blue Fox
Sage Leepa
Otsune
Kuryd Harshain
Jace
Toosus
Snagg Dosmins
Spectwolphes
Saran Sandwill
Talano
Kai (FurryMUCK)
Ferris Paws
Red Stalling
Porrich Starfox
Fameis
Jeridoubou
Purkeki Starmite
LionVootion

th sample.lua cv/lm_lstm_epoch14.01_2.2165.t7 -length 300 -temperature 0.7 -seed 11
Aury Rabbit
Chair Coyote
Alix
Snarky Wolf
Shadow Le Bartley
Loti Fox
Wolfy
SparkyTheFox
Scott Whitefox
Talarus
Falairea
Jones Darkpaw
Tring Daur
Kimanarra Finney
Joe Dange
Ayel Darkfox
Rorel Nilphire
Coontain

Your rating: None

This made me laugh. Cute article.

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About the author

Jack Newhorse (Tom Geller)read storiescontact (login required)

a writer from Oberlin (Ohio) and Rotterdam (The Netherlands)