16 January 2012

..to search Google Search by Image

Just before Christmas, I was doing some housekeeping to my unruly Mac desktop. I found an old picture of a Dachshund downloaded when doing some pictorial research for a client pitch. Before I dumped it, I dropped it into Google Search by Image, just to see what got spat out. I'd never actually used their image search in this way before and was curious. You know how the saying goes; 'Curiosity killed the sausage dog and turned it into a sexy Asian guy resplendent in just yellow pants'.

Google wanted me to see a surprising amount of sauce considering it was a Moderate Safe search. Wanting to take it farther, I dropped the first search result (hot yellow pants guy) back into Search by Image to see what Google thought looked similar. A baby was delivered!

What would happen if I were to repeat the process ad-infinitum? It would be a revealing experiment into the responsive nature of Google's 'intelligent' search algorithms, I thought. But I just didn't get round to it. However, someone else did, and used a far more interesting process than mine. In Search by Image, Recursively, Transparent PNG, #1, Sebastian Schmieg takes a blank image as a starting point and re-feeds the results into Google 2951 times in a brilliant experiment where Google appears to eat itself. It's time well spent even if no double rainbows, dancing cats or sausage dogs get thrown up. (Thanks to Owen Priestley for pointing me towards it).

Search by Image, Recursively, Transparent PNG, #1 from kingcosmonaut3000 on Vimeo.