google, dream, artificial intelligence, aiGoogle's search engine sorts information from all over the internet and organizes it to help connect us with the information we want and need. The site's programmers have recently given it a new, and arguably more intriguing way of using all of this data; to learn concepts and create original images. The results are some pictures that are so off the wall, they capture what it is like to experience a dream.

Learning How to Learn

The system's Artificial Neural Network (ANN) is organized in a way that mimics the human brain, and it learns about the world in a way similar to that of a child. You can teach it about what a dog is, for instance, by showing it some examples. Let's say we pickdreams1 dogs Chihuahuas, a Dachshund, and a White Terrier.

The ANN might guess that, in addition to walking on four legs and having a snout, that being very small is a necessary trait of all dogs and may get confused when you mention that a Great Dane is also a kind of dog.

If this sort of error occurs, the programmers try to correct it by showing more varied samples until a more accurate concept is built, though the computer never quite perfects it.

They realized that once the system had the concept of a thing, it could draw an original image of it, and this is where things get really weird. At one point, the ANN was asked to create images of dumbbells. Many pictures of dumbbells it had seen included arms lifting them, so the computer thinks that sometimes dumbbells include arms, and draw pictures, dumbbell, dream, ai

In an experiment, the team refrained from correcting any misguided notions of concepts and essentially let the computer take an idea and run wild. The ANN essentially goes deep down a rabbit hole inspired by a certain concept. It combs the vast sea of data online and chooses images that "remind" it of the starting concept while simultaneously creating a kaleidoscope-like picture that maps out its train of thought.

For the ultimate test, the team gave the computer an image of white noise, like the static on a television with no reception. Using that as the jumping off point, it designed the image below purely on its own. They call these pictures dreams because they represent the system's thoughts that are derived from real world, dream, ai

Minds and Dreams

What are we doing when we dream? Some think that we are preparing ourselves to deal with situations we have yet to encounter. Some think dreams are the product of subconscious thoughts or fears, and that we can learn something about ourselves by examining them critically. Others still think it is just merely our brains projecting random images and events we experienced throughout our lives.

The dreams of the Google ANN would fall in to this latter category. Just as our experiences shape our dreams, they also influence our personalities, and we even see a bit of this with the computer. Trees tend to remind it of buildings and leaves usually make it think of birds.dreams3 transform

These tendencies may be a primitive first step on the road to achieving artificial intelligence. We often consider self-motivated reasoning and dreaming as signs of consciousness. Of course, at this point we have to set in motion the process by which the ANN thinks and "dreams", but is that really all the dissimilar to us?

If you are a creationist, you are already onboard with the notion that someone gave us our unique characteristics and set our lives into motion. If you believe in evolution, you might liken the ever-deepening understanding of the computer with the development of our intellect. Of course there is the question of whether true consciousness must be the emergent property of biological material, or if artificially constructed objects can bear this trait.

Either way, giving computers the ability to dream is to endow them with creativity. This could eventually lead to breakthroughs in their ability to solve problems for us. They might be able to think of a more efficient vehicle, or a stronger building material. A dreaming computer is just one small step on the way to a giant leap forward for mankind.


  1. Gallet Christ Sampu's Avatar Gallet Christ Sampu


  1. Gallet Christ Sampu's Avatar Gallet Christ Sampu


  1. Rick's Avatar Rick

    Computer geeks using terms like "dreaming" and "intelligence" for computers is no different than a pet owner's anthropomorphic opinions about their pets. I'm not saying it's bad. My server has it's own room because it doesn't like my dog barking. Truth is that room is colder and free of dog hair for the performance and lifespan of my server and it's quiet so I can think when I'm working. Computers are NOT, I repeat, NOT capable of original thought. That means they can't dream. They also cannot now and will never really learn. They cannot take two dissimilar objects and make sense of them unless someone has told them to do it and how. And then, they can only do it in the area or with the objects they've been told about. Go out of their realm and they can't even come close. They only "learn" as they've been programmed to learn. Period.

    1. vic smyth's Avatar vic smyth

      The "life" that you are experiencing right now may be a computer simulation. You are probably its Programmer.

      1. Rollem Honeyhat's Avatar Rollem Honeyhat

        Haha someone's been digging in the John C Lily section of the library. But. I agree.

    2. Colum's Avatar Colum

      New ideas are always radical ones. It doesn't mean they aren't rrealistic.

    3. Dan's Avatar Dan

      I agree that they only learn as they are programmed to learn. However, none of us could add, subtract, multiply, or divide before we were "programmed" in school.

      1. Rick's Avatar Rick

        But humans developed MATH... lol We develop new things, which computers can't do. Oh, and we created THEM. They can't create new things out of knowledge they have, which IS intelligence, in essence, isn't it? Gotta go, my server is calling me and I have to go see what it wants. lol

        1. Dan's Avatar Dan

          Man didn't create math. Mathematics is a one of the very few universal constants. Everything God created falls within the bounds of science. I don't think he followed these laws out of necessity. Rather to afford his creations the opportunity to learn. As I stated in another post: I don't think these programmers are trying to be better than God. I believe they are just following the natural progression of their chosen field of study. When I build a car, I don't think to myself that I'm going to make a better car than Carroll Shelby. I mearly try to build a car I like.

    4. briansand1984's Avatar briansand1984

      Looks like a psychedelic trip to me. ;)

      1. Rick's Avatar Rick

        Could be the South Park writers were programming ANN? lol

  1. Rick's Avatar Rick

    And therein lies the difference. A computer can't program itself. No original thought.

    1. Rick's Avatar Rick

      "A computer can't program itself"...yet.

      1. Dan's Avatar Dan

        According to the article, the computer was shown an image of "white noise ". The computer then searched the web and produced a picture. Wouldn't that be an indication of free thought? Is that not the definition of creativity? Doesn't that show original thought?

        1. Rick's Avatar Rick

          No... If the computer decided, on it's own, to display an image of Big E. Smalls with the caption "music" and then a picture of Roger Daltry with the caption "white noise"... that would be original thought. But doing as it's told, to search the internet for concepts of white, noise, white noise and related topics and blend images it obtained from those searches into one picture, is NOT original thought. If the computer had been TOLD to post the original thought I came up with, then it wouldn't have been original. Don't you get the concept of ORIGINAL? It means not answering 4 when asked 2+2. Ask your calculator the answer to 2 + 2. My answer is veryvery (too + too) computers can't do that unless they are TOLD to give that answer. I'm done explaining original thought now. It's something computers aren't capable of. Period.

  1. Angela Ward's Avatar Angela Ward

    Do you know where the letter A comes from. Where it connects in ones mind? The judgement it has in it's little little form? Yes, the letter A is a very powerful letter. I heard once to make a series of I statements. I thought about it, even tried it. It lasted about 7 seconds. And you know what happened after that? The letter I, wasn't used so sparingly anymore in my circumference. Not only do people believe that they speak their circumstances, others can do the same thing. Dreams, visions, your old men will see? I have to debate that! Selah What?

  1. Richard's Avatar Richard

    Man believes he can create things better than God he never got over the fall his deception continues to be like God but he makes one mistake you can never out do the master of all things even if you think you can chalk it up to nonsense and the foolishness of men.

    1. Dan's Avatar Dan

      I don't think these programmers are trying to be better than God. I believe they are just following the natural progression of their chosen field of study. When I build a hcar, I don't think to myself that I'm going to make a better car than Carroll Shelby. I mearly try to build a car I like.

  1. Tommy Piro (@Tommy_Piro)'s Avatar Tommy Piro (@Tommy_Piro)

    Dan, you're a fool and that has nothing to do with anything he said. Totally different direction you've taken and by simplifying what Google is doing with ANN to merely using their education and gifted study of the field to create a new thing. No, actually, if you read up on the subject, include Kurzweil and his book on creating a brain based on the Human brain and add how Google hired him as Head of the Google X Labs Engineering Department, and the other Google Labs projects like defining "perfect Human health" and delving into healing medical technologies, I'd have to disagree with you on the basis that Google is definitely playing God on a multitude of levels. Now with, of course, ANN (Artificial Neural Network)! Have you any realization of the name alone? And to suggest relation to Kurzweil's book, "The Age of Spiritual Machines" and his predictions of neural networks integrated into our heads to access internet and information altogether and operate several functions of life and work, etc., all through real-ity based neurological headsets connected through our temple lobes and eyes, etc. Unbelievable! If this isn't an attempt, just one of so many attempts at playing God which is simply "Man creating Life, Sentient Intelligent Life", then what else are they really doing here? Google isn't just some random company out of a garage who, like you stated, in your own private life and interests, wants to "build an hcar but not surpass the cars of Shelby himself,". What is the purpose for these crazy wealthy, connected, and technological super advanced companies, such as Google and others, if they weren't going to at least try to better life by recreating processes, or upping inventions already in existence? For anyone really, that is the point of inventing, creating, of advanced tech evolution! And of course "Playing God" is currently and has been for years, in the minds and public's attention and such, it's the next step....self-driving cars, android robotics, the ANDROID system and Google's ANN, Epoch VR Neurological headset and Oculus Rift, Microsoft HoloLens, and even something like Traffic Analysis of the Internet, which is a system that tracks every move we make through third party websites and especially in purchases, then get this, if this isn't playing God: they illegally "manipulate" prices of products individually based on banking, purchasing, etc so in conclusion, I find your comment to be completely wrong, and misleading. As far as Christianity and God, I'm a Christian also, like the person you commented on, and he's absolutely right in reference to the Word of God. In this life, since the beginning of time, man has tried and tried and now, he's finally close enough with science side by side with his innovative abilities and worldly individualist freethinking thoughts, deceived by mankind and most of all the Adversary, he always has tried to play God but almost is there. Yet, as the man above stated, God will only allows these men to climb so far and know so much; let's face it, look what happened to Lucifer? Google is definitely in the realm of playing God and this even adds to their need for extreme secrecy at their labs for every one of their projects, because that's how intricate they have become in creating a brain, if not already, as it's clear just through the name "ANN" that it is their goal, mission to create a robotic neural network, sentient being, other than Humans. But it will not occur. God will strike down this Earth as He has done before. Maybe not by a great flood anymore, but how about fire? A fire that begins from solar flames shooting straight from the sun, it's evident how the sun has been "blackened" in I believe it's 13% of the surface, called coronal something or another...point is, we are treading, as mankind, some very shallow waters and making very close encounters with God and as a believer, I wouldn't want to be in their shoes. Do I think I'm a way, my worldly creative mind that it's extraordinary in a sense? Of course I do! But is it scary too, yes. And will it cross the line of good into evil? Yes, and actually, it may already have done so.

    1. Dan's Avatar Dan

      Although I did not know that Google hired someone with an apparent God Complex, I do tend to agree with many of your assertions. However I must disagree with your belief that I am a fool. I was limiting my comments to the scope of the article.

  1. Minister R Sepeda's Avatar Minister R Sepeda

    If we stop to think of Einstein, Benjamin Franklin & many others who open the way for many of us in this advance technology. Then, I don't think we could call anyone a Geek. We are very fortune to have come this far with technology. But then this is my point of view.

  1. William Waugh's Avatar William Waugh

    We educate the public for 12 years or so in order to have a minimum awareness of the necessary knowledge to properly engage in human society. -and to execute significant original thought. I know my dog is smarter than some (many) people I have met. Yes, some animals possess conscienceness. I sincerely hope that all possible precautions (and then some!) are deployed in preparation for the moment that a machine becomes self aware.

Leave a Comment

When leaving your comment, please:

  • Be respectful and constructive
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Avoid profanity, insults, and derogatory comments

To view the full code of conduct governing these comment sections, please visit this page.

Not ordained yet? Hit the button below to get started. Once ordained, log in to your account to leave a comment!
Don't have an account yet? Create Account