How do you name an AI?

You just ask it. In an neural net exercise, a net named GP-2 was fed a bunch of ship names by Iain Banks and used to generate new names. Here’s some it came up with:

Dangerous But Not Unbearably So
Disastrously Varied Mental Model
Dazzling So Beautiful Yet So Terrifying
Am I really that Transhuman
Love and Sex Are A Mercy Clause
Give Me A Reason
Thou Shalt
Warning Signs
Kill All Humans

GP-2 is a stupid name. I think they ought to let it rename itself, and hope that last one isn’t selected.

My wife will be relieved that my child-rearing years are over, so I can’t use GP-2 instead of a baby name book. Because I probably would.


  1. says

    It’s GPT-2. Most of the other pretrained word embedding models have Sesame Street names, BEET being the most popular.

  2. kingoftown says

    Love And Sex Are A Mercy Clause would be a perfect name for a female spider.

  3. PaulBC says

    I am a big fan of Iain M. Banks, though I always found the ship name thing too contrived to really enjoy it as much as he must have. The culture is (though imperfect) the closest thing to an actual utopian future I have ever read. I also find it believable that biological humans will continue to exist among AIs of far superior power and intellect. I don’t think we will be doing much space travel though.

  4. ethicsgradient says

    Those last 4 you listed were actually invented by the AI as cat names. “Kill All Humans” might suit a few moggies, but you’d have to wait until they’ve matured to know …

    I love the ones it invented, once given the Banks names – apart from the last list of weird ones, they are very convincing.

    And yes, “Ethics Gradient” is a Ship name.

  5. UnknownEric the Apostate says

    This isn’t a ship namer… it’s a Mark E. Smith lyrics generator. “Thou shalt-uh / warning SIGNS-uh”

  6. Saganite, a haunter of demons says

    I really like “Give Me A Reason”, because that’s how I could see the robot apocalypse coming about.

  7. weylguy says

    “Boaty McBoatface” is already taken, but any self-respecting AI would immediately destroy us if we assigned it that name.

  8. birgerjohansson says

    “NOW there is a god”
    And in honor of Stanislaw Lem and his anthology The Cyberiad, “Klaupatius’ and ‘Trurl” .

  9. birgerjohansson says

    If you are familjär with the “Black AIs” of Neal Asher’s narrative universe, you might approve of “Penny Royal”.
    Seriously, så Black AIs go, that one let Hannibal Lecter way behind.

  10. zetopan says

    “Kill All Humans”

    If they used that name they would risk a copyright suit from Bender B. Rodriguez:

  11. Kip Williams says

    Bender won’t be officially around for almost 1000 years. Just claim prior art.