Does Google’s AutoDraw AI grasp modern art better than you?

Does Google's AutoDraw AI grasp modern art better than you?

Turns out Google is a better artist than you.

The company has unveiled a new web-based drawing tool called AutoDraw, which will turn your terrible Microsoft Paint skills into actual pictures.

Just scrawl something on your phone screen with your finger (or on your desktop with a mouse) and Google’s machine learning will detect what you’re trying to draw, and fix it up for you.

The tech company has been making great strides in artificial intelligence, scooping squads of AI enthusiasts into its fold, tackling the toxic mess that is online comments, firing up special-purpose AI chips and once again pitting its machines against human players at the board game Go. For AutoDraw, the company used the same technology behind its “Quick, Draw!” AI Experiment, which tried to teach a neural network to recognize doodles. Now Google has upped the ante, partnering with artists to create some of the suggested sketches in AutoDraw.

But we’re forgetting the big question: Does a neural network really understand modern art?

From left, “The Birth of Day” by Miro, the writer’s impression and Google’s rendition.

Apparently Miro is a no-go.

But what if we feed it something even simpler? Say, the ultra minimalist animal sketches of sometime doodler, Pablo Picasso?

Apparently even the smartest machines have their limits. A single-line drawing on a smartphone, copying one of the greatest artists of the 20th century — excuse the pun, but that’s where Google draws the line.

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