The Monkey Buddha:
The computer uses a feedback loop of image recognition algorithms to find features in the imagery, and then enhance them. The Google engineers dubbed the process "Inceptionism," because the computer keeps going deeper into the image to discern features & patterns. Even if there isn't really any recognizable elements in the visual data, the computer will still process the information & try to find familiar forms. The images that are filtered through the software often end up with a trippy, bizarre, or dream-like appearance.
This research can give us a lot of insight into the nature of consciousness and altered states of all types. By modeling the way the brain recognizes & processes patterns, we will develop a deeper understanding of our own minds.
There is a web app I saw on Gizmodo that takes the Google code and allows you to upload your own photos & apply the different filters.
There's no control over the parameters for each filter, but it's fun to plug different pics in and see how they turn out.
I put a bunch of my own photos through the various filters and created a gallery of images. The results were mostly pretty interesting. My favorites were made using the "Botanical Dimensions" filter.
There are more images in the linked gallery, below.
Picasa Web Album:
Of course, I had to try adding the effects to The Monkey Buddha logo:
This is a self-portrait that came out very strange:
Here is a crazy rendering of my girlfriend Loretta. The original photo was taken by her friend Tessa from Colour Contessa Photography. I think she looks like an otherworldly Aztec goddess.
Finally, here is a psychedelically serene picture of The Buddha: