The scientist who brought us future paint colors named by artificial intelligence like Bank Butt and Snowbonk is at it again, this time using her research and software to dream up new My Little Pony characters.
If you grew up in the 1980s, have children, or consider yourself a "Brony" then you're already familiar with the pastel-colored, animated miniature horses, currently featured in the latest installment as a show called My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, six seasons of which have been running since 2010 (and are available on Netflix). The residents of Ponyville include popular characters with twinkly names like Princess Celestia, Starlight Glimmer, and Twilight Sparkle, whose mission in each episode is to study the magic of friendship.
After using her research to create (hilarious, sometimes head-scratching) new robot-generated names for paint colors, Janelle C. Shane, a scientist who studies artificial intelligence (AI), wanted to see what would happen if she trained her neural network to create new characters based on the data set of 1,500 existing My Little Pony names from the fan wiki, according to Co.Design.
Overall, the AI came up with some downright delightful future pony names, like Glowberry and Brass Flare, as well as some dastardly-yet-tame villains, like Bitter Star and Cold Sting. But it's hard to imagine cameos on the show, or Hasbro toys, from characters with names like Cheese Breeze, Sunsrot, Creep Well, Barp Moon, Dirky Flithers, Arple Robler, Blither Bon Persy, Swinkleshine, Nandy Quark, Pocky Mire, Smanky Hank, Hoofed Snarch, or Charmy Vine — that is, unless, there's a crossover episode in the works with the chaps from Monty Python.
View the full list of (fit to print) AI-created My Little Pony names on Shane's Tumblr account, Lewis and Quark. If you provide your email, she will send you the entire list, including the rejected Pony names.
"The neural network also generated some ponies that would definitely not appear in a kid's TV show — I'm not sure where it learned some of those words," Shane writes on her Tumblr.
Blue Cuss, one of the Tumblr favorite "maybe not" Pony names, is now even available on a T-shirt.