Google’s experimental AI-powered terrarium can simulate real-world weather

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In context: Google’s focus on employee creativity has always been evident; Song Maker and Grasshopper are two examples of that. Both ideas were side projects developed seemingly for the fun of it, but the latter has become quite popular. Now, that same focus on freedom and creativity has spawned Project Oasis, a piece of tech that aims to blend the natural world with the tech world by using AI to simulate real-world weather.

Google has always been known to support their employees’ many fascinating, strange, or outlandish side projects, likely as a way to foster creativity and innovation.

A recent example of this would be Grasshopper, an app that launched back in April through Google’s Area 120 idea incubator.

Grasshopper aims to teach users how to code with Javascript through puzzles, quizzes, and minigames. Based on the positive reviews the app has received to date, it sounds like it may be doing its job.

Google’s employees have worked on a few less practical projects, as well, such as Song Maker. Song Maker is a web app developed by Google’s experimental Chrome Music Lab, and it allows users to create their own unique tunes right in their web browser.

Now, Google is adding to their experimental project repertoire with something far more unusual – an AI-powered terrarium called “Project Oasis.”

Project Oasis is a “voice experiment” that can take advantage of Google Assistant to gather weather data from around the world and reflect that information within a physical terrarium.

For example, if you ask Assistant what the weather is like in Seattle and it happens to be raining there, it will rain inside the terrarium. Oasis can also mimic sunshine with light, and fog or clouds with a gentle mist.

Google isn’t restricting this project to their employees, though. In their experiment reveal video, Google says you can build your own terrarium — if you have the technical skills to pull it off — by visiting the official Project Oasis Github page.

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