Google released the latest of its AI Experiments on Tuesday, a new online tool called AutoDraw. It works on computers, phones, and tablets and uses machine learning to quickly provide a professional drawing based on your doodle.
The tech giant is pushing this new experiment as a quick drawing tool, something that doesn’t really exist outside a few design apps and programs. AutoDraw is both free and easy to use by anyone on any platform.
Google’s AI is getting increasingly better at different things, from professional sketching and translating languages to beating humans at their own games. The company released a batch of experiments online for people to play with last November.
AutoDraw is like smart Paint
AutoDraw works pretty much like Paint does, in that it is a blank canvas with several tools for you to draw freely. The main difference, of course, is that machine learning replaces your squiggly lines with pro sketches.
In Google’s new site, you have the option to draw with AutoDraw’s predictive toolbar turned on or do it the old-fashioned way without any help and then turn it on. You also have text, five different color palettes, shapes, and the option to undo your work.
Before or after you are done with your drawing, you can turn the page sideways and choose the scale. Once you are all finished, you can download the drawing as a PNG file or share it with others with a link or via Facebook and Twitter.
Google is pushing AutoDraw as a simple tool for a simple task that is, somehow, inexplicably difficult to do on a phone or tablet. Sure, you have always been able to freehand doodle and scribble, but this AI canvas is perfect for creating more refined drawings.
Does AutoDraw recognize the work of the masters?
AutoDraw was built on the foundations of Quick Draw, one of the eight machine learning experiments launched by Google late last year. It was a game that gave you something to draw, and the company’s AI had to guess what it was.
The idea behind that was actually to train Google’s neural networks to recognize all the different interpretations of a single item. So after receiving thousands of drawings of a lion, the digital brain now can at least infer your awful lines are an attempt at representing a lion.
However, how well does it do with the work of real artists? CNET tested it out and it turns out that AI is still not quite there, as it only guessed what two out of three Picasso sketches were and it could not handle more abstract drawings.
If you yourself are an artist and want to submit your work for people to use on AutoDraw, there is a section on the menu where you can do just that. Several professionals have already contributed some of their sketches to Google’s initiative.