If elementary school art class was the bane of your existence (drawing the sky is hard, okay?), Google's DeepDream software is for you. The program, which can be used by advanced coders and amateurs alike, creates trippy, Van Gogh-like masterpieces that are, for lack of a better term, dreamy.
DeepDream's software is similar to that of Google Photos. It is taught to recognize different objects, such as cats or flowers, so that it can automatically identify these items without a label, a Google spokesperson explained to us. But DeepDream's code is able to identify additional objects in the random pixels of an image that, while not visible to the naked eye, are still there, the spokesperson added. For example, a simple photo of the sky might be manipulated to reveal elaborate castles.
While having some coding skills will let you have even more artistic control over the image you create — experienced developers can play with the different levels that exist within a single image — third party sites have made it possible for anyone to upload a photo and get a gorgeous DeepDream image. When I tried uploading a photo of a flower to Deep Dream Generator
(anyone can create a free account on the site), the software transformed the original image and created birds, mice, and other figments of my imagination.
Pieces created using these algorithms aren't just curiosities — they're art. This past weekend, Google auctioned
off art pieces that were created using DeepDream software in San Francisco, and some went for as much as $8,000
Lines of code aren't exactly sexy, let alone beautiful, but these works of art prove otherwise. Click through to see 10 of this weekend's masterpieces.