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A Computer Is Picking Names Like "Spockers" for Rescued Guinea Pigs

Neural networks generate amazing guinea pig names.

What do you do when you have more guinea pigs than you can name? That’s what happened to The Portland Guinea Pig Rescue (PGPR), an all-volunteer, foster-based 501(c)(3). The organization was overwhelmed with guinea pigs after a few hoarding situations converged and they lost half of their foster space. Director Kate Brownlie and volunteer Dominique Chishti kept up their spirits with occasional visits to the blog Lewis and Quark.

The blog is a labor of love run by research scientist Janelle Shane. In it, she documents her use of neural networks—a sort of A.I. that uses datasets in a way that mimics actual human learning—to create things like 1980s action figure names (Action Bun, anyone?) and potential Dr. Who episodes (Planet of Lime sounds promising).

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