Google wants to teach its AI how to recognize doodling—and you can help

If you’ve got 120 seconds to kill and an urge to do some doodling, Google has a great treat for you. As one of its AI experiments, the search giant has launched a new site, Quick, Draw!, which is not only entertaining for us humans, but an educational experience for Google’s neural network.

Quick, Draw! works like this: The site tasks you with drawing six relatively common, doodle-able items, and you’ve got up to 20 seconds to draw each. As you’re drawing, Google’s neural network is continually guessing what you’re trying to illustrate. Once it correctly guesses your doodle—or time is up—you move on to the next drawing. After you’ve finished your illustrations, Quick, Draw! also shows you how it came to its successful guesses by showing you the doodles other people have submitted thus far.

When we gave it a stab, the network correctly guessed five out of our six drawings. As you can see below, this AI must already be skilled, because our doodling abilities certainly aren’t. 

Google's Quick, Draw! results

Google’s Quick, Draw! results

Screengrab via Google

As a doodler, you can play with two angles. You can try to give Google a challenge to analyze your images, or you can try to help it guess your doodles as quickly as possible. 

And luckily, if you’re dissatisfied with your first round, you can always play again. 

Christina Bonnington

Christina Bonnington

Christina Bonnington is a tech reporter who specializes in consumer gadgets, apps, and the trends shaping the technology industry. Her work has also appeared in Gizmodo, Wired, Refinery29, Slate, Bicycling, and Outside Magazine. She is based in the San Francisco Bay Area and has a background in electrical engineering.