Google's Deep Dreaming fills the 'net with psychedelic nightmare GIFs

Google's Deep Dreaming is an effort to allow computers to visualize the world through neural networks. The result, of course, is the psychotic nightmare landscape of an emergent machine intelligence, where holes become puppy eyes and anything long and thin is interpreted as a shimmering tentacle.

The subreddits r/deepdream and r/deepdreaming are home to a community of fans of the resulting imagery. Not all of it is horrible: I'm fond of this one posted by MethodOverDrive, suggestive of a) DMT at Battersea Dogs' Home and b) the next craze in "Magic Eye"-style coffee table psychedelia.


Some of the results are quite painterly and subtle, a gentle trip down other people's memory lanes:


But of course most of us are in it for the ironic Deep Dreaming horror, as exemplified in this incredible GIF doing the rounds.


The eyes 'n' tentacles imagery is due to the default material coded into Google's new software. Expect future developments to add more comforting source material, such as suppurating lamprey mouths and spider legs.