Enlarge / Today, in robots-and-fireworks news.Getty Images When AI isn’t scaring us by way of generating more realistic fakes than we ever thought possible, it’s coming up with really stupid names for everyday items. Today, we took a dip back into one of our favorite resources on the surprisingly robust sector of neural-network nerdiness: the…


Enlarge/Today, in robots-and-fireworks news.
Getty Images

When AI isn’t scaring us by way of generating more realistic fakes than we ever thought possible, it’s coming up with really stupid names for everyday items. Today, we took a dip back into one of our favorite resources on the surprisingly robust sector of neural-network nerdiness: the work of research scientist Janelle Shane. (You may remember her work in 2017 on training an AI to invent entirely new, and strange, names for colors.)

Shane’s Thursday update stood out both for its timeliness and its particularly dark sense of humor. Readers and fans send requests for types of everyday human objects, Shane explains, but one list she recently received stood out for its possibilities: the names of fireworks, just in time for New Year’s Eve.

One reader sent her a list of 3,000 actual names of fireworks, all collected from a Dutch repository that combined English and Dutch names of products. (The use of Dutch product names such as Kinder Pakket Groot XXL “just made it more interesting,” Shane notes.) With no other background data to go on, Shane’s chosen neural-network solution, a toolset known as textgenrnn, accepted the giant list of real-life firework names and got to work creating its own list.

Like in other recent data experiments using textgenrnn, this experiment began inventing words and names, then constantly checking them against the original data list until it found similarities and trained itself to refine more and more to match the existing data set. The results range from odd to funny to somewhat terrifying. As Shane points out:

Some of its fireworks sound more like they’re from the post-human era where machines dimly remember what humans were like, and celebrate them with commemorative explosions.

With that in mind, the below list will either make you laugh or will sound suspiciously like the names of happy-sounding weapons used to wipe the human race once Skynet becomes a real thing. You can sign up for Shane’s email list to see additional invented fireworks names (including a couple that might seem NSFW, depending on the context), or check out many, many other amusing lists on her full site. In the meantime, here’s to a new year, and to innocently blowing stuff up on our way to it!

  • Gold Mini wow
  • Flaming Thundersplont Box
  • Bright Blue Stoppers
  • Soundd Box
  • Red flashing cake
  • Machine Blinking Display
  • Smile Rockets
  • Happiness Rockets
  • Extreme maxied whistling
  • None Star Thunder
  • Excellent Rain
  • What Crackling 16
  • Silver Pirate Counters
  • Pronk XL
  • B2B Torch All-Dang
  • Shark Whistler
  • 1 Darner Box
  • Far Exploring Palm
  • Black Moo
  • Sheeperstrike
  • Senior Fountain
  • Just Timmy
  • Hurricane Said Bang
  • Shaming Bulls
  • Big Doo Cake
  • Spent on the Bun
  • Stragfalmed
  • Medium mushing box
  • Green Event Shorts
  • I just looked
  • Definite Box
  • Into Eggs
  • Oh Fountain
  • Event Badger One Assortiment
  • Sneaking Veet Box 3
  • Black Hall is released
  • Golden Strink is 4x
  • Original Cat Pix Budget 2 Boom

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