Trusted Reviews is supported by its audience. If you purchase through links on our site, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

Google’s DeepDream robots turn your photos into psychedelic scenes

Google has unleashed its DeepDream image recognition software on the public, allowing anyone to view their photos as seen by its artificial neural network.

The ANN software had been programmed to recognise patterns in order to categories images into faces, items and landscapes, which has led to Google making great advances in facial and image recognition in recent years.

However, in this interpretation Google has effectively turned DeepDream on itself by teaching it to over-analyse the patterns within images. In this experiment, the software then applies those patterns to edit the entire image. The result has been some pretty trippy art.

Plants have been turned in to dogs with rainbow-style swirls, while cities and towns are being added to landscapes and cloud shots.

DeepDream has now been released on the code-sharing site GitHub, allowing the public to download it and run their own photos through it.

Google says the experiment could shed a little light on human creativity.

“Two weeks ago we blogged about a visualization tool designed to help us understand how neural networks work and what each layer has learned,” wrote Google on its research blog.

In addition to gaining some insight on how these networks carry out classification tasks, we found that this process also generated some beautiful art.

“It also makes us wonder whether neural networks could become a tool for
artists—a new way to remix visual concepts—or perhaps even shed a
little light on the roots of the creative process in general.”

You can check out the results of the experiment on Google’s research blog or download the software yourself from GitHub.

Why trust our journalism?

Founded in 2003, Trusted Reviews exists to give our readers thorough, unbiased and independent advice on what to buy.

Today, we have millions of users a month from around the world, and assess more than 1,000 products a year.

author icon

Editorial independence

Editorial independence means being able to give an unbiased verdict about a product or company, with the avoidance of conflicts of interest. To ensure this is possible, every member of the editorial staff follows a clear code of conduct.

author icon

Professional conduct

We also expect our journalists to follow clear ethical standards in their work. Our staff members must strive for honesty and accuracy in everything they do. We follow the IPSO Editors’ code of practice to underpin these standards.