Would you paint your bedroom in the shade of Blarg? How about Underchunk or … umm … The Brown of Truth? Perhaps you’d taste-test some Orb Crumpets or Two Finger Bobops cereal?
These goofy product labels weren’t conjured up by kindergartners or parody comedians. Instead, these names are the automated creations of OpenAI’s GPT-3 language models put to use by Janelle Shane, self-proclaimed AI humorist and January’s Smithsonian Arts and Industries Building futurist in residence.
Shane used two GPT-3 models, its largest (DaVinci) and smallest (Ada) in her paint-color experiment. “Ada is the name of the smallest model, and it was not so great at sticking to the format,” she writes in her AI Weirdness blog.
Indeed, a lot of the names the Ada model came up with for paint sound more like they should be in a Warped Tour lineup circa 2008. “Dude, did you see that Tree the Broken Loo are playing this year?”
Still, I might listen to a math-metal band called True to the Narwhal, not gonna lie. Fittingly, it's a moody, grayish hue.
“What I find interesting here is that to generate a color, the AI not only had to come up with a name, it also had to specify the color in Red, Green, and Blue coordinates,” wrote Shane, who has gotten attention for her natural language AI paint-naming experiments in the past. An earlier experiment produced paint names like Stanky Bean and Turdly.
OpenAI researchers may not intend for their evolving GPT models to be used to make up funny paint colors, of course. Despite the fact that GPT models are improving, they do still make up things. In fact, OpenAI measures how often GPT generates falsehoods using a “hallucination rate” metric. The research company’s latest GPT model hallucinates less often than GPT-3 does, which seems like a particularly good thing if the breakfast cereal concoctions GPT-3’s Ada model came up with are any indication.
In Shane’s cereal-name experiment, Orb Crumpets, Gudgets Tallow Rods, Two Finger Bobops, Original Cool Ranch Cheese and Dried Cranberry Oatmeal were on the GPT-generated breakfast menu.
Ada “didn't understand that the examples were cereal, or didn't understand how cereal works, and/or didn't understand how humans talk about foods. Its ... cereals were a bit questionable,” she wrote.