Prague travel pictures and deep dreaming

Last updated on May 13th, 2016


Here is a combined short summary on my travels to the city of Prague in the Czech Republic along with corresponding images created using Google’s DeepDreams.

What is this DeepDreams you speak of?

Basically, DeepDream is a deep neural network that was trained to recognize objects from millions of images. A deep neural network is composed of a stack of layers. Basically, these layers learn image filters that when applied to an image classify the image (e.g., is this an image of a cat or a dog?).

You give DeepDream an image and specify a layer in the neural network. The original image is then slightly perturbed to create a modified image that causes the specified layer in the neural network to be more activated.

Early layers in the neural network are sensitive to low level concepts like the edges and textures in the image. So if you specify an early layer, your image will be modified to have edges and textures that most activate the early selected layer.

Example CNN. Image goes as input. Early layers (purple) are sensitive to things like edges and textures. Later layers (red) are sensitive to higher level concepts like faces.
Example CNN. Image goes as input. Early layers (purple) are sensitive to things like edges and textures. Later layers (red) are sensitive to higher level concepts like faces.

Later (or deeper) layers in the neural network are activated when they see higher level concepts such as faces. So any areas in the original image that slightly look like a face, will be modified to look more like a face.

Okay, but now you might ask, but what about Prague? How was your trip? Did you like the city?

Yeah it was nice! Thanks for asking. Did you want to see some pictures? Here’s one of an old building.

Original image of some building in Prague... can't remember what/if the significance of this picture was.
Original image of some building in Prague… can’t remember what the significance of this picture was.

Let’s try some deep dreaming on this. We’ll use the neural network known as VGG16 (it’s a famous neural network that performs very well on competitions). We’ll start by telling VGG16 (the neural network) to modify this image so that one of it’s middle layers becomes more activated. Specifically, we will activate layer conv3_1 from VGG16 (if you don’t know what conv3_1 means, that’s okay – it’s just a technical detail specifying what layer to use). This gives us this:

Same Prague building but using DeepDreams with VGG16 conv3_1
Same Prague building but using DeepDreams with VGG16 conv3_1

Now if we activate a deeper layer, conv5_2, we get this crazy looking image,

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Surprises, questions and suggested things to do when visiting Nagoya, Japan

Last updated on February 4th, 2014

I really hadn’t done much research on Japan before going there for a quick visit. So lot’s of things caught me by surprise. Here’s a few surprises, questions and suggested things to do.

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