Google made a site that shows how millions of people draw the same object

Back in November, Google released artificial intelligence experiment that asks you to draw a random object and see if the neural network can identify your doodle. Quick, Draw! was eventually turned into a tool that transformed drawings into clip art based on the best results it got, helping people add a visual icon to their work without requiring any particular artistic talent. Alongside Google I/O this week, Google has now released the data it received from Quick, Draw! to show you how 15 million people drew the same set of objects. It’s a fascinating look at how humans interpret a random item, from monkeys to parachutes to phones.

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How real books have trumped ebooks

 

Book covers looked very different a decade ago when the appearance of e-readers seemed to flummox a publishing industry reeling from the financial crisis and Amazon’s rampant colonisation of the market. Publishers responded to the threat of digitisation by making physical books that were as grey and forgettable as ebooks. It was an era of flimsy paperbacks and Photoshop covers, the publishers’ lack of confidence manifest in the shonkiness of the objects they were producing. But after reaching a peak in 2014, sales of e-readers and ebooks have slowed and hardback sales have surged. The latest figures from the Publishing Association showed ebook sales falling 17% in 2016, with an 8% rise in their physical counterparts. At the same time, publishers’ production values have soared and bookshops have begun to fill up with books with covers of jewel-like beauty, often with gorgeously textured pages. As the great American cover designer Peter Mendelsund put it to me, books have “more cloth, more foil, more embossing, page staining, sewn bindings, deckled edges”.

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You can’t judge a book by its cover – if you’re a robot

 

Back in September, a report suggested that robots will have eliminated 6% of jobs in the US by 2021. Fortunately for book designers, it doesn’t look as if androids are about to take over cover design any time soon. MIT Technology Review points us towards a new machine-vision algorithm dreamed up by academics at Kyushu University in Japan. In a new paper, Brian Kenji Iwana and Seiichi Uchida explain how they trained a deep neural network “to predict the genre of a book based on the visual clues provided by its cover”.

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You can’t judge a book by its cover – if you’re a robot

 

Back in September, a report suggested that robots will have eliminated 6% of jobs in the US by 2021. Fortunately for book designers, it doesn’t look as if androids are about to take over cover design any time soon. MIT Technology Review points us towards a new machine-vision algorithm dreamed up by academics at Kyushu University in Japan. In a new paper, Brian Kenji Iwana and Seiichi Uchida explain how they trained a deep neural network “to predict the genre of a book based on the visual clues provided by its cover”.

Read the full story here

You can’t judge a book by its cover – if you’re a robot

 

Back in September, a report suggested that robots will have eliminated 6% of jobs in the US by 2021. Fortunately for book designers, it doesn’t look as if androids are about to take over cover design any time soon. MIT Technology Review points us towards a new machine-vision algorithm dreamed up by academics at Kyushu University in Japan. In a new paper, Brian Kenji Iwana and Seiichi Uchida explain how they trained a deep neural network “to predict the genre of a book based on the visual clues provided by its cover”.

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Redrawing women: Tackling sexism in comics

 

Women are fighting back against sexism in an industry steeped in a history of hyper-sexualised female characters. Some in the comics community aren’t happy with this push for gender parity in the workplace, online and on the page but one way or another, the industry is changing.

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You can’t judge a book by its cover – if you’re a robot

 

Back in September, a report suggested that robots will have eliminated 6% of jobs in the US by 2021. Fortunately for book designers, it doesn’t look as if androids are about to take over cover design any time soon. MIT Technology Review points us towards a new machine-vision algorithm dreamed up by academics at Kyushu University in Japan. In a new paper, Brian Kenji Iwana and Seiichi Uchida explain how they trained a deep neural network “to predict the genre of a book based on the visual clues provided by its cover”.

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These anti-terrorism posters echo Nazi propaganda

 

However inadvertently, the designers have used a horribly familiar antisemitic image. The impact goes far beyond these associations, serious as those are. A friend who was unaware of Nazi iconography revealingly said that she saw on the poster an “evil-looking dark-skinned man”. The image plays on people’s fears of “the other”, and creates anxiety about a suspicious “they” who may be hiding something, in the words of the poster.

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This website recommends novels by making sure you can’t judge a book by its cover

 

There’s an old adage that says “don’t judge a book by its cover.” And while that’s usually used metaphorically to discourage making judgements of a person or situation based on initial impressions, there’s no reason why you couldn’t interpret it literally to refer to actually judging works of literature. That’s the idea behind recommendmeabook.com, which takes the idea of not judging a book by its cover and takes it to the natural conclusion.

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