What's the Latest Development?

An artificial intelligence system developed at the Bruno Kessler Foundation in Trentino, Italy, demonstrates how a machine can brand a new product. Studying 1,000 brand names, researchers broke down the naming process into specific steps and then taught those steps to a computer. Beginning with a series of words that describe the product to be named, like 'restaurant', 'Italian food' and 'cosy', the system then retrieves "related words from an open-source database called ConceptNet that contains information on the meaning of words." 

What's the Big Idea?

For an Italian eatery, the system suggested 'Pastarant' or 'Eatalian', the latter of which happens to be the name of a cafe in Los Angeles. "The system had other successes, such as 'Fragrinse' for a shampoo and 'Calculight' for a lightweight computer." What is most impressive about the technology is not that it could replace humans but that people could use it to create better ideas than either man or machine could offer alone. The researchers plan to make the software available to the public so that copywriters and others can offer feedback. 

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