Neural Network Merges Two Random Pictures Into Psychedelic Weirdness Using Ostagram

You may or may not have heard about Google's DeepDream machine learning tool. It uses neural networks, simplified software models of the human brain, to look at the world. By feeding the networks more data they can gain a greater understanding or certain data, like a particular set of pictures, can be used as a kind of filter for the neural networks to view the world through.

Because of that, a popular use for them has been to feed the networks various artistic styles and then use them to create blended artistic images based on these.

This technique has been used to create Russian web app Ostagram. The app uses these neural networks to combine two different images, taking the aesthetic and patterns of one—usually a painting or fine art print—to style another image, usually a photograph of a person or animal (well, cat).

The results are strikingly weird, often wildly psychedelic, and very surreal. And sometimes just plain scary. The technique is called "Inceptionism" and Google explain the idea behind it in detail in a lengthy blog post.

But, all you need to really know is that this form of "algorithmic pareidolia" creates some bizarre and crazy images. Check out some below. And head over to Ostagram if you want to try it out yourself.

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