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Thread: Google's neural networks see things that aren't there - awesome computer acid art

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  1. #1
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    Default Google's neural networks see things that aren't there - awesome computer acid art

    I'm sure a few of you must have seen this already - could just as easily have gone in Art or Thought, but anyway:

    http://googleresearch.blogspot.co.uk...to-neural.html

    Basically Google researchers have used neural net programs trained to pick out certain features, such as animal faces or buildings, and put them to work on an image containing none of these things in conjunction with an algorith to gradually turn parts of the image that look a tiny bit like the sought image into that image, and then iterated it many times. The results are incredible:





    What I find amazing is how incredibly similar they look to some of the stuff you see when you're tripping. In fact it seems to back up a hunch I've had for some time: that a lot of the visual effects of psychedelics arise because they turn up to 11 the circuits in your brain that deal with pattern recognition and detecting streams of meaning in otherwise noisy signals, like how the random dirt on the wall in a nightclub toilet suddenly appears to be alive with slowly morphing faces.

    Cool stuff happens even when they just train the program to pick out and exaggerate edges:

    Quote Originally Posted by woops
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Tea View Post

    What I find amazing is how incredibly similar they look to some of the stuff you see when you're tripping. In fact it seems to back up a hunch I've had for some time: that a lot of the visual effects of psychedelics arise because they turn up to 11 the circuits in your brain that deal with pattern recognition and detecting streams of meaning in otherwise noisy signals, like how the random dirt on the wall in a nightclub toilet suddenly appears to be alive with slowly morphing faces.
    Thats well known isnt it? A combination of the that and entoptic phenomenon.

    All good stuff, though the Seurat is easy pickings if youre looking for edges.

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    Quote Originally Posted by droid View Post
    Thats well known isnt it? A combination of the that and entoptic phenomenon.
    Is it? I mean it may seem subjectively obvious to anyone who's taken psychs, but I have no idea if this was just a widely-held hunch or is well supported by neuroscience.

    Quote Originally Posted by droid View Post
    All good stuff, though the Seurat is easy pickings if youre looking for edges.
    Damn droid, you're a hard man to impress!

    I wonder what would happen if you fed the program an Alex Grey painting? Maybe it'd turn it into a photo from a Next catalogue.
    Last edited by Mr. Tea; 19-06-2015 at 09:04 AM.
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    Yeah 'enhanced pattern recognition' is a factor. Check out the wonderfully titled: 'Geometric visual hallucinations, Euclidean symmetry and the functional architecture of striate cortex' for more info: http://www.math.utah.edu/~bresslof/p...tions/01-1.pdf

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    Quote Originally Posted by droid View Post
    'Geometric visual hallucinations, Euclidean symmetry and the functional architecture of striate cortex
    I am SO in the wrong job...
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    I've never had a hallucination I feel cheated I want my world to be an Alex grey painting

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    Quote Originally Posted by droid View Post
    Yeah 'enhanced pattern recognition' is a factor. Check out the wonderfully titled: 'Geometric visual hallucinations, Euclidean symmetry and the functional architecture of striate cortex' for more info: http://www.math.utah.edu/~bresslof/p...tions/01-1.pdf
    Interesting paper, but it's surely a major oversight not to discuss or quantify the apparent fractal nature of geometric hallucinations?

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    Quote Originally Posted by HMGovt View Post
    Interesting paper, but it's surely a major oversight not to discuss or quantify the apparent fractal nature of geometric hallucinations?
    You know, I'm not entirely convinced the apparent similarity between fractals and some of the form constants seen while tripping isn't a coincidence. Or rather, if it's not a coincidence, if the causality is the obvious way around.

    Consider that 'fractals', as the public understands them (representations of the Mandelbrot and Julia sets with a very garish colour scheme chosen) started becoming well known in the late 80s/early 90s thanks in large part to James Gleick's Chaos. In other words, exactly the time acid house and rave culture were kicking off, ecstasy was becoming the club/party drug of choice and there was also a resurgence in the use of LSD.

    So I'm wondering if people making images of certain fractals were inspired to use colour schemes that gave 'trippy' results, rather than there being something inherently fractal about the patterns you can see when you're tripping.
    Last edited by Mr. Tea; 22-06-2015 at 01:19 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by woops
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