"Furry Wolf Candy": neural network invents fursona names
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.
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
- Solding Wolf
At this point, she left the creativity up and just kept giving it more "experience".
- Rongs Mittle
- Furry Wolf Candy
- 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
- Ferris Paws
...but righted itself, sort of. Still fixated on "Shadow", by the way.
- Chair Coyote
- Snarky Wolf
- Shadow Le Bartley
- Scott Whitefox
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.
About the authorJack Newhorse (Tom Geller) — read stories — contact (login required)
a writer from Oberlin (Ohio) and Rotterdam (The Netherlands)
Shadow Fox is a bit on the nose there neural network. Should have went with ShadowFox1223421
A bit on the snout*
In fairness, there are a lot of Shadows on WikiFur.
It is a dark, dark place.
Where's that damn fourth [iterative pass of the data sample set]?
May it be with you!
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~
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
th sample.lua cv/lm_lstm_epoch3.11_2.2117.t7 -length 300 -temperature 0.7 -seed 11
Moully Silversanper SilverMox
th sample.lua cv/lm_lstm_epoch4.67_2.1736.t7 -length 300 -temperature 0.1 -seed 11
th sample.lua cv/lm_lstm_epoch4.67_2.1736.t7 -length 300 -temperature 0.7 -seed 11
Ame A. Wolfn
th sample.lua cv/lm_lstm_epoch6.23_2.1598.t7 -length 300 -temperature 0.7 -seed 11
Furry Wolf Candy
th sample.lua cv/lm_lstm_epoch7.78_2.1835.t7 -length 300 -temperature 0.7 -seed 11
Pandy the Cheetah
Dalack Golf Fox
th sample.lua cv/lm_lstm_epoch9.34_2.1868.t7 -length 300 -temperature 0.7 -seed 11
Smick the Blue Fox
th sample.lua cv/lm_lstm_epoch14.01_2.2165.t7 -length 300 -temperature 0.7 -seed 11
Shadow Le Bartley
This made me laugh. Cute article.
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