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When computers see dreams - the essence of dreams

23 December 2017


In this blog post, we will, quite literally, take a look inside a dream of a computer and I will talk about the meaning of dreams, both, human dreams and computer dreams.

This is my second post about the topic of computer dreams, read the first, more technical, post here. In this case, I have worked with Google DeepDream, more precisely with a slightly modified version by myself.

Like I have already stated in my previous Blog post about DeepDream, Google DeepDream is an open source program, created by Google, which uses convolutional neural networks to find and enhance patterns in images.

The post will be specifically about Google DeepDream, although can be interpreted, surely, much more general, in a very broad way.

Why Dream?

Although, one might argue, it is quite far fetched to compare DeepDream to human dreams, there are interesting similarities.

For one, we human do quite a similar thing as Google DeepDream in our dreams: We, or better, our brain, or our subconscious, try to find patterns in the information we have received during our time awake.

Probably, dreams help assign a meaning to the ‘raw’ information - a higher level of abstraction. Though more primitive, Google DeepDream does exactly the same.

Also, there is the aspect of the (artistic) weirdness, which you can view for yourself in the following section of my post.

The beauty of computer dreams

Here are some my results with DeepDream. The quality has been reduced to let the site load faster, links for the full-res versions are below.

As I was running Google DeepDream in a virtual machine, I took a very long time to generate those. For more technical stuff read my previous post about Google DeepDream or view my Google DeepDream fork on Github here.

Without further a do, here we go!

buidlings

weird buildings

Click here to view image in high resolution.


more werid buidlings

more weird buildings

Click here to view image in high resolution.


deepdream animals

deepdream animals

Click here to view image in high resolution.


deepdream pagodes

deepdream pagodes

Click here to view image in high resolution.


deepdream weirdness

deepdream weirdness

Click here to view image in high resolution.


deepdream weird animals

deepdream weird animals

Click here to view image in high resolution.


deepdream animals, buildings, cars

deepdream animals, buildings, cars

Click here to view image in high resolution.


deepdream landscape

deepdream landscape

Click here to view image in high resolution.


What is next?

So, one might ask: What is next? What awaits us in the future?

Strong AI or even a Super intelligence? With enough data and computing power everything is possible.

Or so it would seem.

Ultimately, exploring things like computer dreams, neural networks and other implementations of biological results of evolution, helps us to better understand ourselves, the way ‘we work and function’.

Will it ever be possible to fully mimic and recreate the human brain, the psychology or even the spiritual components (depends on your own philosophy and beliefs, I will not touch on this topic further)?

Time, and more precisely, people with very bright ideas will tell.

One thing is for sure: The future has many interesting things and discoveries waiting for us.

And that is definitely very exiting!

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