Over the years google has bought onto the internet a number of great software tools. I have and still use many of them, Blogger, picasa, gmail, My Tracks, Google Earth, Maps, Google Drive (Google Docs, Slides & Sheets), Nik Software, Snapseed). I’ve gone right off google photos (but still put up with it to publish photos into this blog). A number of these have been depricated and whilst they still work google no longer offers downloads, or alternative software and/or no support. The one thing they have been good with to date is giving warning and letting you download any personal data.
I have taken I liking to the idea of exploring that place between art and a photograph, in particular what I have been Hashtagging #AIart (on Instagram). Google created the Deep Dream generator originally as a way to explain how their image analysis technique worked. It is based on training neural networks (a type of artificially intelligent data miners). As well as recognizing objects, animals, people & things the networks can also be used to seek out style (ok in a rudimentary way, it can mimic marks making, line works, colour palette and several other features that make artworks original. The software does not create original art but it can take a photo and find that style of linework & colour etc within a photos. Some of the result are amazing. Unfortunately more and more examples that I see produced by other “copy cat” system are degenerating into the garish and boring, as they become very popular of social media.
Clearly google are looking to muscle in of the social media aspect and they have add a multilevel aspect to site membership (its free) and that is tied to number of public post and more importantly number of likes. A different levels you can only generate a specific number of a specific type/style of image with a set time frame. So It only took me a couple of images to reach my limit with a polite come back and try again later. The type of thing that just plain kills exploration and creativity. The writing is on the wall google this is going to become a ghost town like google+
The one nice thing, is the UI (user interface has been smarted up a bit with better layout of selection buttons and other tools. Nothing new just a little bit cleaner to look at.
One new feature, that I have asked for a few times, is better documentation of what was set up to produce each result. It seems quiet common that most people (especially those new to deep dream) blanket bomb one image with many alternative networks/styles, and after doing several and waiting a decent time for each it is difficult to remember how you created a particular masterpiece. The ? Intro item now gives you a run down although it has only remembered a few of my style images.
Perhaps its another case of needing more likes?
No matter, such is life.