Now anyone can explore machine learning, no coding required

Now anyone can inch up close to machine learning. It’s teachable in the form of an AI experiment “made with some friends from Google.”

You, yes you, can teach a machine (forget coding) using your camera. You can do it live in the browser.

Specifically, step into their invite to explore the Teachable Machine and you get to train a neural network locally on your device, without sending images to any server. No images are stored on Google servers—the training happens locally on your device.

“Hi, I’m Lasse. Hi, I’m Andreas.” A video shows how it is done. “Over here is the input, my camera,” said Andreas. Over to the right, he said, you see three classes, green, purple and orange. Over to the far right, the output, where the machine responds to you.

He shows first how to teach the Green class to recognize when he puts his hand up. He trains a purple class when he puts his hand down. Crazyface, orange class.

Bars can switch to speech, so when he holds his and hand up, for example, it says hello and, when hands down, it says awesome.

As for work tips, the Teachable Machine site told anyone wanting to get this going that “your machine doesn’t have an understanding of higher level concepts, like faces or objects. It’s learning through the examples you give it. So if it’s not working the way you want, you might want to click the x to reset your classes and try out different approaches.”

That’s when the little setbacks are valuable. “Seeing what works and what doesn’t is one way to explore how machine learning works.”

Todd Weiss in ITPro: “One participant used the Teachable Machine to make their hand say ‘moo,’ while others have performed other demonstrations. Visitors can use the record button to share their contributions on social media with the hashtag #teachablemachine.”

Lasse said this was built with deeplearn.js for training models locally in the browser, which makes it run so fast. Nice: It works on mobile devices too, so you can work with the camera on your phone.

The deeplearn.js is an open-source library for web developers to train and run machine learning models locally in the browser.

Teachable Machine is built with a new library called deeplearn.js, which makes it easier for any web developer to get into machine learning. It trains a neural net right in your browser—locally on your device—without sending any images to a server. It also open sourced the code to help inspire others to make new experiments.

The experiment resonates with the PAIR team’s goals. They said earlier this year that they are open sourcing new tools, creating educational materials and publishing research to “spread the power of AI to as many people as possible.”

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