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Google AutoDraw

What Auto-Tune does for singers, Google’s AutoDraw AI experiment now does for those of us with limited visual talent. I’ve just discovered this handy tool and considering its power in demonstrating AI, as well as its affordances for so many everyday tasks.

Screen Shot 2017-08-07 at 3.11.29 PMAutoDraw got its start as Quick Draw  a Google game/experiment in which when you drew on your device, Google’s artificial intelligence attempted to guess what you were drawing.

Can a neural network learn to recognize doodling?Help teach it by adding your drawings to the world’s largest doodling data set, shared publicly to help with machine learning research.

One application of that doodle interpretation experiment is AutoDraw.

When you open the site AutoDraw looks like any simple drawing tool with color options, text additions, choices for thickness, resizing, redo, zoom, color fills and delete.

The big difference is that when you select the AutoDraw tool from the side panel toolbar, Google’s AI tries to translate your squiggles into its bank of more professional images which appear as a running carousel on the top of your screen. Any of these images may be selected to replace the squiggle you originally drew.

That professional image can be edited in the canvas area just like anything you drew yourself.  The outline style art is reminiscent of the Noun Project. Here it is contributed for public use by a variety of illustrators, designers, and artists, including the Selman Group.

Completed projects may shared by links or through social media or simply downloaded

Consider AutoDraw for:

  • sketch noting
  • infographics
  • posters
  • flyers
  • diagrams
  • coloring pages
  • worksheets
  • student projects
  • story illustrations (Of course, original student art may often be far superior to Google’s professionally created doodles.)

AutoDraw might just be the fix that gets me to finally give sketch noting a serious try.  Perhaps more importantly, it might get kids thinking about and discussing some of the ways we are increasingly integrating artificial intelligence.

I’ll demo a little feebly (that’s the point, I think) with a little rebus.

Joyce Valenza About Joyce Valenza

Joyce is an Assistant Professor of Teaching at Rutgers University School of Information and Communication, a technology writer, speaker, blogger and learner. Follow her on Twitter: @joycevalenza


  1. I had no idea this existed either. Thanks for educating me! Can’t wait to try it.

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