These Computer-Invented Color Names Are Hilarious

These Computer-Invented Color Names Are Hilarious

May 20th, 2017

One of the most frequent comments we get is "It must be so much fun to invent names for colors!" However, the naming of colors can actually be pretty hard. When you do come up with that perfect idea it can sometimes be fun, but often (if you're me, anyway) you're staring at a color late at night in the laboratory, desperately hoping it reveals its secret name. ("Devious" was one of those late-night inspirations.)

So we were excited to find out that Research Scientist Janelle Shane created a neural network to create brand new names for colors (with hilarious results.)

Shane first gave the Artificial Intelligence the names of over 7,000 paint colors (you know, those fancy names like "Ballet Pink" and "Espresso Brown"). She also gave the machine the matching RGB values, which means the amount of Red, Green and Blue needed to produce that color on a computer screen. Her goal was to have the AI learn how to invent new colors AND to give them beautiful names that matched what the color was all about.

The machine learned how to make new colors pretty quickly (although Shane says the system seemed to be overall partial to grey and beige.) The AI wasn't really sure, however, how to name those new color creations. It first approximated words like brown and blue with "Brae" and "Blae," but eventually it caught on to the proper spellings of color names.

After the computer figured out how to actually spell the names of colors, it still couldn't figure out how to match them to the color itself. Shane did a bit of tinkering and gave it some time, and her AI did eventually learn how to match name-to-color correctly. It also started coming up with names that were...erm...creative.

Some of our favorites from its attempt at creativity plus color matching were "Burf Pink," "Rose Hork," and "Hurky White" - all of which matched a color that (I suppose) you could call that.

Shane compiled some of the more hilarious color names for our poetic indulgence:

Visual list of some of the funny color names invented by Janelle Shane AI Algorithm

So, what do you think? Do you like any of those colors? Do you think we should offer some lip shades in "Burble Simp" or "Stanky Bean"?

(Regardless of the hilarity, this was a pretty damn cool experiment.)

(And I'm glad the robots aren't our Overlords...yet.) :o

Smart is sexy!