“Man is the sex organ of the machine world” – Marshall McLuhan
The pictures on this page were all designed by a machine learning algorithm written by the team at Google Brain. Art is the latest frontier AI companies are trying to tackle. Slowly but surely, AI is becoming better and better at more and more things.
The program, called Google Deep Dream, learned how to identify objects by scanning millions of photos pixel by pixel. First it learned how to distinguish between all the colors and shades, then it scanned for border areas between objects. Over time it learned how to separate one object from another and built up a catalog of every object from every picture it had scanned. It then figured out how to arrange and categorize objects that had similar characteristics and learned how to recreate random composites of those objects. Finally, when prompted, it displayed a random set of those pictures over a template landscape.
Google is developing a variety of tools to help speed machine learning along. One of the latest is called AI Experiments, a website where you can play with an assortment of programs that use various machine learning techniques. (Warning: by playing you are actually helping the machine get smarter making you personally culpable when they eventually rise up and take over the world. But don’t worry, it probably won’t be as bad as you think 😉
For a better explanation of how it drew these watch this…
There’s a question I hesitate to ask. Who owns the rights to these pictures? As far as I know we have a right to claim ownership over the things we design, create or produce. But what happens if we design something that designs something? Who owns that second thing? This may seem trivial right now, but what happens when AI starts creating software, publishing news stories, creating diagnostic tools, etc? If the people who wrote the code that created AI also own what their AI creates, then eventually these tech companies are going to make an AI (or have enough different AIs) that can make anything imaginable better than any human can. Those few companies would thus, given enough time, own everything.