Machine learning researchers are using wonderful terrible puns to title papers

GANs N' Roses: Stable, Controllable, Diverse Image to Image Translation
(Image credit: GANs N' Roses: Stable, Controllable, Diverse Image to Image Translation)

Injecting fun and play into life at any opportunity is a crucial part of the creative spirit that defines humanity. As a species, we are capable of truly terrible and wonderful things. Our individual creations are wondrous and unique, and our combined efforts are categorically monumental in what we are able to achieve. 

In a world where great minds have learned to harness AI to be the even greater minds behind machine learning techniques to control nuclear fusion or give voices back to those who've lost them, it's nice to see we're still having fun with it all.

Jimi Vaubien who runs the Bitswired blog and goes by Bitswired on Twitter is one such great mind, who recently posted an excellent Twitter thread showcasing some of the fun names researchers are giving their papers. They include plenty of puns and pop-culture references, as well as nods to famous bands and music over the time, but they're all still charmingly relevant to their studies.

The first on the list is titled Who Let The Dogs Out? Modeling Dog Behavior From Visual Data. It combines visual data of dogs movements as well as the dogs own perspectives in machine learning. This gives more information on not only how the dog moves, but also how they act before making those movements. 

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This covers more than just how the animal moves. Instead, it looks at how they plan their next steps, interpret visual data and obstacles, and then make choices. This could be helpful for training walking robots like the Boston Dynamics dogs who patrol Pompeii, or just give us way more realistic dog companions in games.

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The song puns don't stop there, as the generative adversarial network class of machine learning, better known as GAN lends itself to the cause. GAN's N Roses: Stable, Controllable, Diverse Image to Image Translation takes faces and maps them to different anime styles. The video looks a bit like a janky face rig, but when you consider it's being done by AI likely in real time, it's a pretty neat looking step in the Vtuber world.

r_gans_n_roses_stable_controllable_diverse_image from r/MachineLearning

We used Neural Networks to Detect Clickbaits: You won't believe what happened Next!, is another paper listed in the Twitter thread. We'll let you guess what that one's about.

While AI development might be a little scary on several fronts, it's to know that the people training the AI brains are doing so with a sense of humour. Hopefully if AI ever does make the incredibly unlikely jump to sci-fi style domination, it'll have plenty of great one-liners to drop on us as it does so.

Hope Corrigan
Hardware Writer

Hope’s been writing about games for about a decade, starting out way back when on the Australian Nintendo fan site Since then, she’s talked far too much about games and tech for publications such as Techlife, Byteside, IGN, and GameSpot. Of course there’s also here at PC Gamer, where she gets to indulge her inner hardware nerd with news and reviews. You can usually find Hope fawning over some art, tech, or likely a wonderful combination of them both and where relevant she’ll share them with you here. When she’s not writing about the amazing creations of others, she’s working on what she hopes will one day be her own. You can find her fictional chill out ambient far future sci-fi radio show/album/listening experience podcast right here.

No, she’s not kidding.