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Pit your doodling skills against Google

We're sure you know how to draw, but can you do it against the clock? This new AI experiment from Google Creative Lab challenges you to test your doodling ability against a machine learning system, against the clock.

It's called Quick, Draw! (opens in new tab), and it plays out like a high-speed game of Pictionary; over six rounds you're given something to draw and 20 seconds to draw it in, and as you dash out your doodle art Quick, Draw will try to guess what it is until it either gets it right or the time runs out.

Remember: say what you see

Remember: say what you see

It's daft and fun but it also serves a really useful purpose: the more people play, the more the Quick, Draw! neural network learns, and it become better and better at recognising objects, even badly-drawn ones scrawled with a mouse.

Once you've finished your game, you can then see how well you did, and you can also take a look at some of the reasoning behind Quick, Draw!'s thinking, whether it guessed your doodles correctly or not. 

Five out of six ain't bad

Five out of six ain't bad

It'll show you its three most closest matches it came up with for your drawings, and you can also see how it's learned what things look like by looking at a whole bunch of other people's drawings of the same thing.

What kind of maniac mistakes a parrot for toothpaste?

What kind of maniac mistakes a parrot for toothpaste?

The Quick, Draw! system has been ready-trained to recognise a few hundred objects and concepts, and the team plans to add more over time. It's a great little AI timewaster, but it's also a great example of how you can use machine learning in fun ways. It's just one of a set of AI experiments from Google; you can see more here (opens in new tab).

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Jim McCauley
Jim McCauley

Jim McCauley is a writer, performer and cat-wrangler who started writing professionally way back in 1995 on PC Format magazine, and has been covering technology-related subjects ever since, whether it's hardware, software or videogames. A chance call in 2005 led to Jim taking charge of Computer Arts' website and developing an interest in the world of graphic design, and eventually led to a move over to the freshly-launched Creative Bloq in 2012. Jim now works as a freelance writer for sites including Creative Bloq, T3 and PetsRadar, specialising in design, technology, wellness and cats, while doing the occasional pantomime and street performance in Bath and designing posters for a local drama group on the side.