Just how does machine learning work? You’ve probably read a primer or two on the subject, but often the best way to understand a thing is to try it out for yourself. With that in mind, check out this little in-browser experiment from Google named Teachable Machine. It’s a perfect two-minute summary of what a lot of modern AI can — and more importantly can’t — do.
Teachable Machine lets you use your webcam to train an extremely basic AI program. Just hit the “train green/purple/orange” buttons, and the machine will record whatever it can see through your webcam. Once it’s “learned” enough, it’ll output whatever you like (a GIF or a sound effect or some speech) when it sees the object or activity you trained it with. I taught it to recognize my houseplants and respond with relevant GIFs, but others have used it make their hands go moo or play air guitar on command.
The site requires access to a webcam for the training.