Neural networks are machine learning algorithms that are very good at solving tough problems - they’re used for language translation, facial recognition, and financial management. I, however, have been training them on silly datasets.

Here are some of my favorite experiments from the last year.

Naming guinea pigs

In a possible first for the field of machine learning, a neural network named rescue guinea pigs for the Portland Guinea Pig Rescue and Morris Animal Refuge. Some of the names they used, and some of them they did not.


Then I mixed the guinea pig names with the names of death metal bands, and got names such as:

Death Snifs
Fuzzy Night
Dark Darn

Naming kittens

Not to be outdone by the guinea pigs, AFK Cat Rescue of Huntsville, Alabama asked me to name some rescue kittens. Some of the names were great, and others not so much:

Mr. Tinkles

Inventing magic spells

I trained a neural network twice on Dungeons and Dragons spells, and once on spells from Harry Potter. See if you can figure out which list is which.

Chorus of the dave
Song of the doom goom
Barking Sphere
Gland Growth
Hold Mouse
Hurder-gerping Charm
Regrowing hair to curse of the Bogies
Brechaim hedbivicus Doobers Spell
Fubbledory Charm
Squggly-wing fart

And please read these hilarious descriptions of neural network D&D spells.

Naming beers

The craft beer industry is running short on names, and expensive lawsuits result when two breweries use the same name. Now we have many more.

Dang River
Snot Beard
Pimperdiginistic the Blacksmith with Cherry

And now there’s a real beer, first ever named by neural network: The Fine Stranger

Naming your next band

It helps if you like sharks.

Shark Gordon
The Shark Singers
The Shark Charles
Tony Shark

Or if you’re a metal band, there’s a special list just for you.

Inhuman Sand
Sun Damage Omen

Curing writer’s block

Need a title for your story?

Under the Daleks
Pirates: A Fight Dance Story
Batman and Flancles: The Fun Tree
The Star Wars: The Santa Contact
American Midnight: Swear Dragon

Or need a way to start it?

“I am forced to write to my neighbors about the beast.”
Her mother was packing by the black anthill.
The sun was probably for his wife.
Stop! I caused the Narguuse man who was new on Alabama, the screaming constipated eggs.

Assassination plots

It’s a really bad idea to follow the neural network’s cooking advice. Its cake recipes will also not result in cake.

1 cup cherry seeds
42 cup milk
Preheat oven to 3500 8 minutes.
Sprout clams; add vanilla.

Choosing your next Halloween costume

Fairy Batman? Sexy Pumpkin Pirate? Princess Shark? Professor Panda?

You may be the only one dressed this way at your next Halloween party.

Inventing new ponies

I trained a neural network to invent new My Little Ponies, but not all of them were presentable.

Raspberry Turd
Derdy Star
Starly Star
Blue Cuss

Inventing new paint colors

I trained a neural network to generate paint colors and name them. Then, with a larger dataset, I tried again and it did a bit better. But you may not see these as the next color of the year:

Parp Green
Shy Bather
Farty Red
Bull Cream

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