Google Computer Teaches Itself To Identify Cats
Cute! But creepy…
A giant network of computers called a 'Google brain' has taught itself about cats. Before you get all "nawww", ponder this: it was bombarded by a collection of over 20,000 internet images, which it processed and then managed to not only figure out what a cat was, but also to become obsessed with identifiying them. ON ITS OWN. There's no disputing that cats are one of the best animals ever, but still — that's proper creepy.
It started when a Google team of researchers connected 16,000 computer processors, creating a "neural network" of over one billion connections. After setting up this 'Google brain' with a random series of images from YouTube videos (20,000 stills taken from half as many videos), they left the brain to its own devices. No-one was expecting the brain to act quite so much like a human (aka becoming really obsessed with pictures of cats), but that's exactly what it did. Google scientist Jeff Dean told The Australian, "We never told it during the training, 'This is a cat,'" he said, adding that "it basically invented the concept of a cat." Wait, what? Holy shit!
This is Kevin, a friend of the Oyster team. He is wearing a turtleneck and isn't really in the mood to have his picture taken right now.
Before you start devising grand theories about the supernatural qualities of cats and people's obsession with them since ancient Egyptian times (like you haven't already), slow your roll. The creepy ghost-in-the-shell brain also enjoyed recognising human faces and bodies... but not as much as it did cats. The 'Google brain' is the first
sentient robot of doom 'artificial neural network' to identify objects without being helped by humans. But seriously, relax — they're not taking over the world just yet. As the scientists point out in their study, "It is worth noting that our network is still tiny compared to the human visual cortex, which is a million times larger in terms of the number of neurons and synapses." But that doesn't explain the cats! Thanks for nothing, Google. Kidding! We love you. Please don't send the brain.