In "Inceptionism," scientists at Google Research describe their work training neural nets with sets of images, then tweaking the "layers" of neural net nodes to produce weird outcomes.
I've seen lots of tldrs of the paper, but the best so far comes from JWZ:
So then they reach inside to one of the layers and spin the knob randomly to fuck it up. Lower layers are edges and curves. Higher layers are faces, eyes and shoggoth ovipositors.
...But the best part is not when they just glitch an image -- which is a fun kind of embossing at one end, and the "extra eyes" filter at the other -- but is when they take a net trained on some particular set of objects and feed it static, then zoom in, and feed the output back in repeatedly. That's when you converge upon the platonic ideal of those objects, which -- it turns out -- tend to be Giger nightmare landscapes. Who knew. (I knew.)
Inceptionism: Going Deeper into Neural Networks [Alexander Mordvintsev, Christopher Olah and Mike Tyka/Google Research]
Teams of researchers are developing sesame seed-size neuro-implants that detect brain activity that signals depression and then deliver targeted electrical zaps to elevate your mood. It’s very early days in the science and technology but recent studies suggest that we’re on the path. Links to scientific papers below. Fortunately, the goal is to develop tools […]
In the 1960s, when Scientific American copy editor Michael J. Battaglia was 15, he had a chemical romance with the periodic table. In fact, Battaglia was so fascinated by the basic substances of our universe that he tried to collect ’em all (at least the 104 elements that science knew about at the time.) From […]
Aren’t they beautiful? Here’s how ‘ghost apples’ formed on this apple tree in West Michigan.
What do Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Google all have in common? Somewhere in their framework, they all use MySQL, that most versatile (and free!) of database management systems. And they’re not alone. If your company or the one you’d like to work for wrangles data (and who doesn’t?), they’re going to need someone with a […]
There’s a reason you’re hearing about the gig economy in every other business story these days. More than ever, people are finding income from more than one source. And if you find the right one, a side hustle can do more than just pad your pockets – it can allow you to finally get paid […]
High-def cameras are available to anyone and for much less than they were just a decade ago. Even the phones in our pockets can be used to shoot and edit short films. It’s never been easier to be a filmmaker, providing you have the technique. Enter the Film & Cinematography Mastery Bundle, an online boot […]