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Now You Can See What Google's Algorithms Are Thinking

It gets weird!

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Google made it.

Not the people at Google (the company) — the artificial neural network that lets Google (the tool) recognize images.

These neural networks — which Google uses for products like reverse image search — get "trained" by looking at thousands of images, identifying features in them until they understand what, say, a tree looks like.


As you can see, it doesn't work great — the network had trouble telling apart arms and the weights they're holding, so it created these horrific dumbbell-arm hybrid images.

Basically, Google has the artificial network take a look at an image, decide what the image is of, and then accentuate its main features.

There was one bird in the above image, so Google created a lot more weird ghost birds for its interpretation of the sky.

Brendan Klinkenberg is a tech reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in San Francisco.

Contact Brendan Klinkenberg at

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