Try Shadow Puppetry by Google this Lunar New Year | Tech Coffee House

The abundance of things that AI can do is, thus far, limitless. And in time for this Lunar New Year, Google has released its newest interactive AI experiment called Shadow Art.

Back in the day, what “youngsters” like me do when we had nothing but a single light source, we played with our hands.

What I mean is that we used our hands to form shapes and when cast under the light, it forms shadows of birds, dogs, rabbit, etc.

Shadow Art is the smart way of doing it and you can enjoy a good game of “Who can mould your hands into the shape of the 12 Chinese zodiac animals the fastest?” Quite a mouthful but I’m sure you can come up with a better name.

According to Google, the Shadow Art is made possible “by training a model using Cloud TPUs.”

They also used data set that “consists of thousands of hand gestures from volunteers across their Google Office in Asia” to ensure high recognition of the different shapes.

And to make it available online, Google turned to TensorFlow.js, “a TensorFlow library which makes it easy to build and train a machine learning model directly in the browser.”

Now that the technical stuff is out of the way, let’s play.

How to play?

  1. Use your smartphone and paste this link into your browser:
  2. Indicate your zodiac and if you do not know yours, select your Date of Birth
  3. Set your smartphone down on something stable, facing a plain foreground for it to calibrate
  4. Once it is calibrated, you will be asked to try shadow-casting your zodiac as a trial run. Thereafter, you have 20 seconds to cast all 12 zodiac animals.

If you have any questions, our friend from Tech Lingo got you covered in this video.

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