Bob Ross Plus Google’s DeepDream A.I. Is Utterly Terrifying


| 5/26/2017 11:14:00 AM


Tags: Bob Ross, Graham Templeton, Science and Technology,

Bob Ross

Last year, Google’s DeepMind A.I. development house released a “tool” called DeepDream that let neural networks loose on innocent imagery, with truly terrifying results. Though it was hailed as a window into the secret experiences of A.I, in reality, DeepDream was a demonstration of just how primitive the mind of modern A.I. really is. But could even an artificial intelligence be alien enough to pervert the peaceful, soothing imagery of the great Bob Ross?

A new video titled “Deeply Artificial Trees,” which applies DeepDream to every frame of a Bob Ross video, proves that the answer to this question is, well, yes. Good grief, yes. Further, it even applies the technique to the audio — making the experience truly nightmarish.

DeepDream’s algorithms basically work by following the simplest mathematical route from basic shapes in an image to a guess at the objects those shapes represent. It then morphs the image slightly, then tries again. Over time this means that the images actually become what they’re perceived to be by the A.I. in a sort of self-reinforcing downward spiral toward freakish pictures from the world’s worst acid trip. Take a look at the video (if you dare), and check out our explanation below.

Deeply Artificial Trees was designed to highlight “the unreasonable effectiveness and strange inner workings of deep learning systems. The unique characteristics of the human voice [are] learned and generated as well as hallucinations of a system trying to find images which are not there.”