Using machine learning to name colors

On a recent trip to Michigan, my friend Tim Sosa mentioned a blog post he read in which the author, Janelle Shane, describes how she built a neural network that generates color names from RGB values. I thought the idea was really neat, but I found the results underwhelming. A lot of the color names were nonsensical (i.e., not actual words), and the pairings between the generated names and the colors seemed pretty random, so it wasn’t clear whether the model was actually learning a meaningful function to map colors to language. I wondered whether the idea could be improved, so, exclusively using open source software, I built a model to play around with; the code for the project can be found on my GitHub.

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