Which color would you rather paint your kitchen: Burf Pink or Rose Colon? You can probably rule out Gray Pubic, while Stoner Blue could be a chill choice.
Those are some of the paint swatch options generated by a neural network programmed by Janelle Shane, a research scientist who plays with machine-learning software when she has some spare moments. Shane posted the results of her experiment on her Tumblr earlier this week, where she explains that she fed a learning algorithm a list of about 7,700 Sherwin-Williams paint color names and their RGB values, and watched as it formed its own rules and generated different sets of data.
“Could the neural network learn to invent new paint colors and give them attractive names?” she posited, giving examples of existing ones — Tuscan sunrise, Blushing pear, Tradewind. It would be neat if AI could alleviate a bit of stress from individuals chewing on pencils as they conceive of the next great paint name. But Shane’s results, for the most part, suggest that companies may want to leave AI out of the christening process for now. Below, you can see how her neural network gradually trained itself to produce colors, improving in spelling over time, but often producing less-than-appealing names, like Sindis Poop, Bank Butt, and Turdly.
Shane began the process by feeding a trained neural network a “seed text” to begin with, like the letter B. “Then the neural network has to try to guess the next character in the sequence,” she explained to Hyperallergic. “If it’s seen a lot of colors whose names begin with ‘Blue,’ then there’s a good chance it will pick an ‘l’ for the next character in the sequence. Then, given ‘Bl,’ it will likely either spell ‘Blue’ or ‘Black.’
“However, if I turn the temperature variable up, so the neural network doesn’t always use what it thinks is the most likely next character in the sequence, then it might end up choosing an ‘o’ to go after ‘Bl,’ and go from there to ‘Blood’ or ‘Blobby.’”
Shane revisited her experiment after receiving suggestions from people, however, and posted some new results today. She tried substituting HSV (Hue, Saturation, and Value) and Lab color spaces for RBG, but neither algorithm spit out a list of comprehensible hues, as illustrated below.
But then she took a cue from a blog reader and fed her neural network paint names with only lowercase letters and added more color names from companies like Benjamin Moore. The results of this round, she found, weren’t half bad, and hold promise for marketing heads of the paint industry, making for a sort of avant-garde paint swatch: I’d totally paint my bedroom jeurici rain or tune dream — a much more creative name for Millennial Pink — in a heartbeat.
“Pretty much every name was a plausible match to its color (even if it wasn’t a plausible color you’d find in the paint store),” as Shane wrote in her post. “The answer seems to be, as it often is for neural networks: more data.”
Artist Minouk Lim wants to offer a very different perspective on how one might deal with a grim history whose effects continue to be felt in the present.
This week: Should Washington have a national memorial for gun violence? Have cats used us to take over the world? What is Cluttercore? And more.
Organizers, artists, and land practitioners are holding public events at Iglesias Garden in a hub space supported by the Climate Justice Initiative, a project of Mural Arts Philadelphia.
The artist’s style blends aesthetic and cultural elements from Ghana, London, and New York’s graffiti scenes.
Workers told Hyperallergic that they were tired of meager pay and a lack of job security.
Jo Sandman / TRACES opens with a reception for the artist on June 3 at Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center in Asheville, North Carolina.
Authorities say Jean-Luc Martinez helped facilitate the Louvre’s purchase of objects illegally pillaged during the Arab Spring.
The suspects attempted to take a Basquiat artwork valued at $45,000 from Taglialatella Galleries but instead made off with a half-empty bottle of whiskey.
Funding MFAs and all full-time graduate degrees, the Paul & Daisy Soros Fellowships for New Americans supports immigrants and the children of immigrants in the US.
From music and architecture to comedy and horror, these films showcase Ukrainian culture and its long-held ethos of resistance.
The artists showcased in Archival Intimacies examine the colonial trauma’s impact on Asian Americans and search for ways to overcome it.
Eiffel inadvertently paints its protagonist not as a great man worthy of scrutiny or praise, but as the Elon Musk of his day.