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Google’s addicting new experiment can decipher your terrible drawings

by Brandon Russell | November 16, 2016November 16, 2016 6:00 pm EST

The idea is simple: Draw a picture and Google’s neural network will try to guess what it is. It’s like Pictionary for the modern age.

Quick, Draw! isn’t so much meant to teach people to draw; Google is more concerned with teaching its neural network to recognize everyday objects. If the software can decipher your chicken scratch, it can recognize damn near anything.

When you launch the experiment, Quick, Draw! will challenge players to draw a picture under a specified amount of time. Google’s neural network then has ten-seconds to figure out what was drawn.

Depending on your artistic ability, Quick, Draw! is quite good at recognizing what you’ve drawn. But it doesn’t always work. [It didn’t catch this editor’s amazing sketch of a frying pan, for example.]

“This is a game built with machine learning,” Google explains. “You draw, and a neural network tries to guess what you’re drawing. Of course, it doesn’t always work. But the more you play with it, the more it will learn.”

According to Google, the new game uses some of the same technology that helps Google Translate recognize handwriting. You can try it out for yourself at the source link below.


Brandon Russell

Brandon Russell likes to rollerblade while listening to ACDC.