Machine learning and art


In 2015 Leon Gatys wrote a paper describing an algorithm that could "separate and recombine content and style of arbitrary images." If you ever wondered what Mona Lisa would look like if done in the style of van Gogh's Starry Night, it turns out this is something a machine can do quite well! This is done with a type of algorithm known as a Convolutional neural network, a model that is inspired by our understanding of the human brain and the connections of its neurons. The CNN learns abstract, high-level features of a style (like the texture of Starry Night) and is able to apply it to the content of a given image.

To try this out I spun up an GPU enabled EC2 Linux server on AWS, and I used Justin Johnson's "neural-style", a torch implementation of this above-mentioned algorithm. I combined a selfie with a picture of the rings in a cross-section of a log. The result was really cool!


pics to combine

And after...

pics to combine

Here is an animation of the progressive iterations of the model.