Google’s artificial intelligence creates bizarre images of its dreams

Kramer Phillips By Kramer Phillips | 5 years ago

Google is synonymous with providing the best information in fractions of a second, but they’ve been up to some other weird projects also. According to a report from Popular Science, their artificial intelligence has been having some strange dreams.

The tech company’s artificial neural networks, or ANNs, are comprised of layered artificial neurons that can process the images on their servers. Programmers at Google can teach an ANN to recognize a fork by feeding it millions of fork pictures. The ANN scans all of these images and remembers that they’re depicting forks – effectively learning what a fork looks like.

Each layer inside the network extracts a different aspect of the images defining characteristics, like the points at the tip of a fork or the metallic color. After a while, it can recognize any fork you show it.

Something strange happened between the Google team and the ANNs. Programmers wondered if the artificial neurons might be able to use their image recognizing capabilities to produce their own original images. After all, if you know what a fork looks like, you can probably draw one.

The computer is no master painter. Some of the images it has produced are extremely bizarre – for instance, a picture of a dumbbell with an arm attached to it. Since the ANNs had seen so many people lifting dumbbells in photos, it thought that they might have arms too.

But the ANNs got better. They eventually learned how to repeat patterns of images, creating beautiful, sprawling collages. The Google engineers then removed all of the inputs and told the computer to start from scratch. The resulting images, referred to as “dreams,” are completely a product of the computer’s vision. Most of them speak for themselves.