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Google’s Artificial Intelligence Creates Psychedelic Art

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Don’t worry, no one slipped some acid into your drink earlier, but if they did, you should go enjoy the world and come back to this article later. 

For those of you who are on the straight and narrow, what you’re looking at is not the art of a retired Dead Head hippie, but rather the work of Google’s artificial intelligence. Google apparently got tired of mining personal information and decided to have their computers make otherworldly art. Wait, you mean computers can think…? 

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For those of us who have accepted that we’ve been outsmarted by computers know it comes as no surprise that techie gurus are using this newfound power to expand upon human creativity.

Google’s image recognition software, which detects, analyzes, and captions images for us, uses artificial neural networks to simulate how the human brain would organize and categorize images, because tagging artwork ourselves would clearly be too much work. Using this software, Google has created what they call “inceptionism” to see what artificial networks think of when given a nondescript image. It’s a truly fitting name, this software works by detecting the many different layers in an image; the lower levels represent edges and orientation while top layers are used to identify the image itself. It is like an image within an images within an image, and trust me, you don’t want to get lost in the world of Google’s artificial intelligence - it looks like a scary place.

Needless to say, this terrifying and awesome use of technology, or rather technology using itself, gave the world these beauties to ogle at:

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And to think, back in the day, when Surrealism was just developing, artists like Dali and Magritte achieved their psychedelic images by taking copious amounts of drugs and sleep depriving themselves. Needless to say, this may be a healthier alternative to altering your brain chemistry for the sake of artistic creativity.

Not to discredit the work of our past tripadellic artists, Google has also put iconic pieces of art through this process and the results are nothing less than stunning.

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Google’s version of The Scream by Edvard Munch, at the National Museum of Art, Architecture, and Design, Oslo

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Google’s version of A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte by Georges Seurat, at the Art Institute of Chicago 

So you may be thinking, big whoop, Google made some weird images, why do I care? Well it turns out that these tech nerds are not just getting paid big bucks to sit around and pretend they are on hallucinogens (not to hate because that sounds like a good time to me), but these developers actually have some big plans for this software. Google engineers explained: 

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

While I will never stop loving the art of the OG psychedelic surrealists, Google may be giving the idea of genuine human creativity a run for its money. Is it good? Is it evil? 

It’s hard to say, but any person or machine that has the prowess to bring a pig-snail floating through the sky and into the world is okay by me.

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I wasn’t joking about those pig-snails, it’s like the more fattening, better tasting version of escargot. Watch out France!

By: Jennifer 

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Jennifer Tucker

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