A Neural Network Invented A Bunch Of New Paint Colors That Are Hilariously Wrong

At some point, we’ve all wondered about the incredibly strange names for paint colors. Research scientist and neural network goofball Janelle Shane took the wondering a step further. Shane decided to train a neural network to generate new paint colors, complete with appropriate names. The results are possibly the greatest work of artificial intelligence I’ve seen to date.

Writes Shane on her Tumblr, “For this experiment, I gave the neural network a list of about 7,700 Sherwin-Williams paint colors along with their RGB values. (RGB = red, green, and blue color values.) Could the neural network learn to invent new paint colors and give them attractive names?”

By the first checkpoint, the neural network has learned to produce valid RGB values – these are colors, all right, and you could technically paint your walls with them. It’s a little farther behind the curve on the names, although it does seem to be attempting a combination of the colors brown, blue, and gray.

By the second checkpoint, the neural network can properly spell green and gray. It doesn’t seem to actually know what color they are, however.

More info: Tumblr (h/t: arstechnica)

Let’s check in with what the more-creative setting is producing.

Later in the training process, the neural network is about as well-trained as it’s going to be (perhaps with different parameters, it could have done a bit better – a lot of neural network training involves choosing the right training parameters). By this point, it’s able to figure out some of the basic colors, like white, red, and grey:

Although not reliably.

In fact, looking at the neural network’s output as a whole, it is evident that:

– the neural network really likes brown, beige, and grey.
– the neural network has really really bad ideas for paint names.

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