Google's Machine-Mind Visualisation Tool Turns Pics Into Hallucinatory Nightmare Fuel #DeepDream

A few week's back Google published a blog post about a visualization tool they've developed in relation to artificial intelligence and artificial neural networks. It basically lets you peak into the "mind" of AI models and see what they see. Titled "Inceptionism: Going Deeper into Neural Networks" among other things it featured some seriously trippy images.

They started off as normal images—a squirrel, a painting—but once interpreted by the artificial neural networks became abstract and freaky (artificial neural networks are very, very simplified software models of the human brain which try to replicate the way the brain's neurons interact and connect).

The reason the interpretations came out looking so bizarre—sometimes stunning, sometimes horrifying, mostly puppyslug—is that when the artificial neural network sees an image it's never seen before it interprets it in the context of what it already knows, i.e. all the images it's previously been fed through its database. (You can find a good and not too complicated explanation of how it works here.)

So the new image gets "tainted" with these other images—eyes or dogs for example—making for some seriously trippy, fractal and, frankly, terrifying weirdness.


Google recently released the code they used to create these images so anyone who has the skills can use it on any picture they want, choosing how many layers to enhance and iterations to apply, and how much to zoom-in.

They've called the code Deep Dream and have asked people to hashtag any images they make using it with #DeepDream.

This has resulted in the internet becoming a nightmarish gallery of utterly strange imagery. Some people have referred to the images as "machine dreaming" and it's a great way to describe it.

We've collected some of the most interesting below.

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