Matt Dorey

A bird is sitting on the grass with a kite

Fun With Deep Dream

Deep dream version of the cover image of my about page

I don't completely understand how it works but I think that Google's Deep Dream algorithm uses the idea that artificial neural networks trained to recognise features within images might be able to reproduce those features within images. The results of allowing this process run multiple times over images with the task of identifying, for example, eyes, leads to amazing and frightening results.

I've run some snaps that appear here and there on the blog through deep dream to see what comes out the other end. Most of the resulting images are pretty wacky, some are funny, and some are the stuff of nightmares.

The cover image of this post is the image from my about page with the algorithm set to look for animals. Below is the result if you look for eyes instead:

[aesop_image imgwidth=”90%” img=”” alt=”Deep dream version of the about page cover image with eyes mode selected” align=”center” lightbox=”on” caption=”Eye-eye-eye!” captionposition=”left”]

I quite like it. Perhaps it's because the eyes are lots of different colours. Funnily enough it does look a bit like those magic eye pictures from the early 90s, if you'll excuse the pun.

Here's another run of the animal search for another picture taken in the Moon Valley in Chile. Originally the image is a hand pointing out features on the horizon, and now the hand is – well it's not really a hand anymore. I do love how many features of this landscape get extrapolated into dogs of one kind or another:

[aesop_image imgwidth=”90%” img=”” alt=”Deep dream image of the moon valley with beasts mode on” align=”center” lightbox=”on” caption=”Looking for beasties with deep dream” captionposition=”left”]

To show that the algorithm doesn't always produce dogs when on beast mode, here's my usual social media profile picture rendered this way as well. I particularly like my new chameleon pony tail:

[aesop_image imgwidth=”50%” img=”” alt=”Deep dream version of my social media picture” align=”center” lightbox=”on” caption=”Who’s this handsome fellow with the chameleon pony tail?” captionposition=”left”]

Finally, there's a setting called "trippy" and this is where the nightmares really start. This picture used to be of some bluebells in Slindon Wood. Not anymore:

[aesop_image imgwidth=”90%” img=”” alt=”Deep dream picture of Slindon bluebells” align=”center” lightbox=”on” caption=”Bluebells, what bluebells?!” captionposition=”left”]

Meanwhile this is the result from it working on a self-portrait of me in my bedroom from earlier this week. I have to confess that I have cheated here as the source portrait was originally distorted with a hall of mirrors type effect which has probably contributed to the nightmarish results of the algorithm in this case (although I do actually quite like it):

[aesop_image imgwidth=”90%” img=”” alt=”Nightmarish self-portrait created with deep dream” align=”center” lightbox=”on” caption=”Nightmarish self-portrait created with deep dream” captionposition=”left”]

Finally, let's look at what happens to the picture of me playing badminton with my colleagues that I put up a few months ago:

[aesop_image imgwidth=”90%” img=”” alt=”Deep dream take on the picture from my badminton post” align=”center” lightbox=”on” caption=”Deep dream take on the picture from my badminton post” captionposition=”left”]

Not so much dogs playing poker as dogs playing badminton with your nightmares!

%d bloggers like this: