My Deep Dreams

Surrealism, neural networks, and pop art

#deepdream still from Un Chien Andalou, Salvador Dalí and Luis Buñuel, 1929

A few weeks ago a mysterious image surfaced on Reddit of a many-eyed creature lounging in a surreal landscape. Rumors suggested it had been generated by a new form of artificial intelligence.

A week later, Google revealed the source of that image, and many others like it, debuting a new style of digital art called Inceptionism where images are created by probing the intermediate layers of neural networks trained to recognize images.

The training was accomplished by a technique called Deep Learning, which has been the most significant breakthrough in artificial intelligence in decades, after early successes in the 1960s like the first singing computer.

Google subsequently released the source code. If you are handy enough and have a spare three gigs on your computer you can create your own images and even videos. Some of my own experiments can be found below, where Google’s algorithm digests famous works of art. As you can see, it has a predisposition to see eyes, dogs, and birds in just about everything.

Un Chien Andalou #deepdream video, Salvador Dalí and Luis Buñuel, 1929
#deepdream Larmes (Tears) by Man Ray, 1932
#deepdream Marilyn Monroe, Andy Warhol, 1962
#deepdream Meet the Beatles!, 1964
Franz Kafka #deepdream, 1923
#deepdream Un Chien Andalou, (end=’inception_5a/pool_proj’)
#deepdream Un Chien Andalou, (end=’inception_3b/pool_proj’)
Jackson Pollock, convergence #deepdream, 1952
Yousuf Karsh, Earnest Hemingway #deepdream, 1957