Google’s awesome doodle-guessing AI gets an update for Chinese New Year

Google is ringing in the Chinese New Year with a dog-themed update to its doodle-guessing AI game.

The game is called “Quick, Draw!” and it’s powered by an experimental AI that tries to figure out what people are sketching in real-time. Playing is simple, all you have to do is visit this website for the year of the dog-themed version ( or this one for the regular game) and follow the onscreen instructions.

Players are given 20 seconds to draw a specific image using their mouse or other similar input device and the AI attempts to guess what the drawings are before the time runs out. After a series of six images players are treated to a recap where they can see what the AI’s top three guesses were for each drawing and what other players’ drawings look like.


In the latest update players will draw a series of dog-related things. So far we’ve only managed to find:

  • Dog
  • Cat
  • Fire-hydrant
  • Shoe
  • Grass
  • Hot dog

Hopefully there’s more than that, or at least more to be added in the couple of days between now and Chinese New Year. Spring-themed prompts, especially, would work well for the holiday, as it also marks the beginning of the Spring Festival in China.

Previous themes included Christmas, where players helped Santa train his elf “Tensor.”

So far the AI, built inTensorflow, has trained on over a billion images. During a 12-month period people around the world drew more stars in the game than the naked-eye can see in a clear night sky, according to an official Google blog post . Despite the limitations of the Chinese New Year theme, there’s at least 345 categories in the regular version by our count, and clicking through them brings up some pretty cool insights.

For example, according to Google, most people draw faces with smiles.

Here’s a reason to smile: the Quick, Draw! experiment is open-source, meaning anyone can download the code and various tutorials and run it themselves. TensorFlow is available for anyone to use and applications like Quick, Draw! are a fantastic way to get into machine learning.

Anyone interested in developing AI should check out this application which, aside from being fun for just about any age, is also a wonderful example of how recurrent neural networks function.

The Chinese New Year begins on Friday February 16th, but you can check out Google’s Year of the Dog-themed Quick, Draw game now.

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