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Now You Can See What Google's Algorithms Are Thinking

It gets weird!

Posted on June 27, 2015, at 3:00 p.m. ET

This is the Google logo you know, but with one major difference.

Google

Google made it.

Not the people at Google (the company) — the artificial neural network that lets Google (the tool) recognize images.

These neural networks — which Google uses for products like reverse image search — get "trained" by looking at thousands of images, identifying features in them until they understand what, say, a tree looks like.

But when Google tries to let the neural network make images on its own, things get weird. This is what happened with dumbbells:

Google

As you can see, it doesn't work great — the network had trouble telling apart arms and the weights they're holding, so it created these horrific dumbbell-arm hybrid images.

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And this is what happened with the sky:

Google

Basically, Google has the artificial network take a look at an image, decide what the image is of, and then accentuate its main features.

There was one bird in the above image, so Google created a lot more weird ghost birds for its interpretation of the sky.

This is how Google, left to its own devices, sees Munch's The Scream.

Google

From there, the interpretations get weirder...

Google

And weirder...

Google

And weirder.

See more here.
Google

See more here.

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