Sunday, May 21, 2017

"Neural net invents new paint colors (and names!)"

It's not very good at the names bit yet.

From Lewis and Quark (Postcards from the Frontiers of Science)

New paint colors invented by neural network
So if you’ve ever picked out paint, you know that every infinitesimally different shade of blue, beige, and gray has its own descriptive, attractive name. Tuscan sunrise, blushing pear, Tradewind, etc… There are in fact people who invent these names for a living. But given that the human eye can see millions of distinct colors, sooner or later we’re going to run out of good names. Can AI help?
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?
One way I have of checking on the neural network’s progress during training is to ask it to produce some output using the lowest-creativity setting. Then the neural network plays it safe, and we can get an idea of what it has learned for sure.
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.
Let’s check in with what the more-creative setting is producing.
…oh, okay.

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)....MUCH MORE
HT: Firstly FT Alphaville's Friday Further Reading post where Mr. Keohane directed our attention to the newfound name "Pubic Gray" and then MetaFilter whose comments section begins:
Wltlttf Bzt is one of my favorite colors.
posted by The otter lady at 9:32 PM on May 18 [3 favorites]

Burble Simp and Stanky Pink is where I lost it.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:33 PM on May 18 [8 favorites]