“The Joy of Painting” hosted by Bob Ross is known to be a relaxing television show, but that isn’t the case when you run it through DeepDream, a computer vision program created by Google engineer Alexander Mordvintsev. These painting videos go from instructional to a hallucinogenic dream-like nightmare, thanks to the convolutional neural network used to find and enhance patterns in images via algorithmic pareidolia that deliberately over-processes the imagery. Read more for another example and additional information.
How does DeepDream work? Well, it’s designed to detect faces as well as other patterns in images, and once trained, the network can also be run in reverse. After enough reiterations, even images that haven’t produced the desired features will be adjusted enough that a form of pareidolia results in a psychedelic and surreal kind of way.