The latest innovation from Google's AI Experiments program is Autodraw. The system builds off a machine-learning tool previously developed called Quickdraw, which used a neural network to try and guess what object you are trying to draw as you draw it. Autodraw takes things a step further to let you doodle and get decent results on your phone.
Google's AI Experiments has been slowly dropping fascinating artistic or creative uses of its neural net for some time now. Acting as an open-source resource offering code and tutorials to anyone with a creative idea, the program has generated experiments involving everything from object-recognition machine-learning to a system that lets you play a live piano duet with a computer.
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With Autodraw, as you doodle on the web-based sketch pad the system constantly offers you a series of simple clip art images based on what it thinks you're trying to create. After a few tests with our terribly juvenile squiggles it seems the system works surprisingly well.
A couple of circles with a square on top was quickly recognized as an attempt at trying to draw a car and a hastily sketched trio of circles swiftly became a butterfly thanks to the clever neural network. The only blackspot we discovered was the machine's inability, or unwillingness, to recognize our immature doodles of doodles. We assume the AI is above schoolyard humor.
The clip art imagery the system suggests is obviously quite generic, but as a demonstration of machine learning and the ability to recognize objects from abstract doodles, it all works rather well.
Google is supplying the web-based app for free and it's available on everything from smartphones to tablets and desktops, making this a useful quick design platform to whip up that Facebook event flyer or, if you're like us, just to help turn those terrible doodles into something people can comprehend.
Take a look at the Autodraw in the video below or try it yourself here.