Earlier today, Google revealed a few new projects that utilize its artificial intelligence technology at the intersection of education and culture, and one of those projects is called Google LIFE Tags. For the LIFE Tags project, Google used a computer vision algorithm to intelligently sort through, analyze, and tag 4,000,000 photos from LIFE Magazine's publicly available archive.

LIFE Magazine initially ran from its launch in 1936 until 1972; it then resumed distribution in 1978, only to be suspended again in 2000. According to Google, the publication only used 5% of the millions of images that were taken for the magazine during its decades of operation—an archive that spans 1800m / 6000ft of space across three warehouse.

The archive's enormous size makes it difficult to browse, and that's where Google LIFE Tags comes in. The project, which is available now for anyone to use, organizes the archive based on objects found within the photos. Each object—such as "1937 Ford," "Airbus," "American bulldog," and thousands more—are presented on the Google LIFE Tags website in the form of an interactive encyclopedia.

Visitors can browse images from LIFE Magazine's photo archive that contain the particular objects or subjects they're interested in by clicking the related tags on the project's website.

Clicking the "camera" tag, for example, prompts the system to present more than 800 images containing cameras. Each category's page includes a definition pulled from Wikipedia, as well as related tags that the visitor may be interested in, such as (in this case) things like "camera lens," "filmmaking," "photographer," and "film camera."

"Using thousands of automatically created labels," Google explained in a blog post, "the tool turns this unparalleled record of recent history and culture into an interactive web of visuals everyone can explore."

And honestly, we can't imagine a better way to spend a few hours of time this evening than browsing through this incredible archive of imagery. Enjoy... and our apologies to your productivity.