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AI program created to give fuzzy, adoptable guinea pigs new names

January 14, 2018 9:11 AM
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AI program created to give fuzzy, adoptable guinea pigs new names

Naming pets can sometimes pose a challenge to pet owners. So imagine the headache of naming over a dozen rescued guinea pigs up for adoption.

The non-profit organization Portland Guinea Pig Rescue in Oregon, USA, had such a problem. They contacted researcher Janelle Shane to help make an artificial intelligence system that could generate names for the little furry pets.

Shane actually specializes in optics but plays around with neural networks on the side. Neural networks are essentially artificial intelligence programs that mimic the way human brain learns and thinks.

She took on the task and trained a neural network with a data set based on all the guinea pig names the Portland Guinea Pig Rescue ever gave to an animal.

From this list of typical names like Pumpkin, Ginger, Rascal and Snickers, her guinea pig-naming neural network started to learn. It began playing with the letters to create names that sound like a guinea pig name. Some of these include Popchop, Fuzzable, Buzzberry, After Pie and Fleury White.

According to Shane’s Tumblr post, there were also some rejects like Madly Mean, Tricles, Fleshy and Boooy.

On Jan. 7, Portland Guinea Pig Rescue tweeted that Blueberry and After Pie, the “sqirreliest pair” had found new homes.


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