Convolutional neural networks are artificial intelligence algorithms used in image recognition. Two weeks ago engineers from Google showed how it can be used to generate or modify images in a novel style. They called it "inceptionism". Since then lots of people and websites posted about it.
I would like to play around with this technology myself, but I don't have much knowledge about artificial intelligence algorithms and I don't have much free time right now, so at least I hope to follow developments in this new graphics technique and update this list of related links.
I came back after the weekend and I can see that the algorithm keeps spreading across the Internet like crazy. After Google shared their code on Github, people start using it. It is not easy though. It is a Python code and has many dependencies. Some libraries must be installed. So even if using it does not require in-depth knowledge about programming or neural networks, this is not just an application that we could download and launch.
I've spent today evening trying to set this up on my Windows, but I didn't succeed. I can see that people on reddit try to run this code as they discuss in Deepdream for non-programmers thread. It seems that at the moment noone found a simple solution to do it on Windows.
Someone managed to set it up as a web service at psychic-vr-lab.com/deepdream, but uploading images is no longer available. I guess the server was overloaded.
Some videos started appearing on YouTube - #deepdream.
It seems that "Deep Deam" with become the official name for this effect. Other candidate names were "Inceptionism" (proposed by Google engineers in their original blog post) and "Large Scale Deep Neural Net" (proposed by the studends form Ghent University, probably because of its acronym ;)
I'd like to be able to experiment with this algorithm to teach it recognizing (and generating) some other patterns. So far it usually just draws dog faces. I can imagine it would look cool if it draws some plants, leaves etc. or some abstract, geometrical patterns, like fractals.
Ryan Kennedy prepared a self-contained, virtual environment to run this software using Docker, but it's still not that easy to set it up.
I finally managed to run the program, thanks to the Newbie Guide for Windows, based on VirtualBox and Vagrant. Still not without problems though.
Understanding Neural Networks Through Deep Visualization - an article offering nice overview of this algorithm.
The pinned post on /r/deepdream lists more and more online services that offer processing of images into this specific style, full of dogs :) There is even a successful Indiegogo campaign to setup such server - DreamDeeply.
Its "Tips & Tools" section also links to some description and illustration of specific layers, as well as deepdreamer - a tool for configuring the dreaming script.
DeepDream Group has been created on Facebook and it is very active.
I think that the ultimate solution would be to create a standalone application or a Photoshop/GIMP plugin that would apply this effect to images, but it seems that speeding up these calculations to anything less than minutes or training own neural network with something else than dogs won't be easy. Here is some discussion on the latter.