Fooling Computers With Optical Illusions Is A Step In The Right Direction

from the maybe-my-laptop-will-appreciate-escher-soon dept

Just a few weeks ago, computers were learning to understand knock knock jokes. Now, computers take another step towards being human; they are fooled by optical illusions, just like us. By creating a computer program that learns how to comprehend different shades of gray similar to the way that an infant learns, the computer also falls prey to White’s Illusion, an illusion in which bands of gray appear different even though they are the same shade. This is an important step in computer vision since this illusion is not a physiological one, where optical sensors send the brain the wrong image, but rather, a cognitive one, where perception of an image is misinterpreted. As we get closer to true artificial intelligence, what other kinds of human faults will computers be able to emulate? And, considering that computers are already better than us at certain tasks, will those faults be amplified? After all, “to err is human, to really screw up you need a computer.”

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Comments on “Fooling Computers With Optical Illusions Is A Step In The Right Direction”

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Tom (profile) says:

actually, this IS a physiological illusion

Although when talking about neurons this distinction is fairly meaningless. Nevertheless, it’s the case that this effect occurs before the signal ever leaves your retina, which most people would regard as a physiological issue. The reason has to do with a contrast-enhancing property afforded by a layer of inhibitory neurons. See here and read the part about “lateral inhibition”.

It’s interesting that they’ve managed to get their system to fail in some of the same ways that the human visual system fails, but it’s silly to take this as a signal that computer vision will mirror that of people. The human visual system is very good at some things and machines *will* have to replicate those tricks. But determining luminance is not one of those things — robots have got us pretty well beat when it comes to that, and there’s no reason they should regress on that score. This research is probably intended more to shed light on human biology than on future technology.

Tofu Killer says:

Re: Vision in Electronics

The Wii? That’s the most important thing you could think of while we’re discussing aritificial intelligences’ human faults? Duck Hunt isn’t any different and that came out in ’84 or something

“The same way humans have our good depth perception (to a distance). By having 2 eyes.” Thanks for the pointless general knowledge statement that proves you’re an authority on the subject.

Tom (profile) says:

that's also wrong, killer_tofu

Sorry, I don’t mean to just come to this thread and be a jerk to everyone. But the wii sensor bar actually contains two infrared LEDs, which emit light but don’t detect anything. The wiimote has a single IR-sensitive camera in it. Have a look at this video, in which two candles (which also emit infrared light) are used to replace the sensor bar.

The fact that the position of those two IR LEDs can be assumed to remain constant (and their orientation can be assumed to be horizontal) allows the Wiimote to calculate where it’s pointing relative to the sensor bar. The spatial relationship between the TV and Wii is calibrated by the user when they set up the console.

A one-eyed man staring at two dots painted on the wall is a closer analogy to how the Wii actually works.

Killer_Tofu (profile) says:


I would have assumed so by the part. Those used to be the rave when they were first coming out. Man that seems like forever ago.

Tom, thank you for correcting my on how the Wii truly works.
I better understand now.

#3, Person who trying to rip on my name,
Apparently you have no vision or imagination. Using technology such as the Wii is some of the first true steps towards making virtual reality real for everybody.
No longer must you wear a huge heavy suit to be able to sense where you are pointing or your movements. And now, the whole public has access to it. Or is this your first time ever reading about these ideas? They are very closely related.

Tofu killer 2, The Return says:


I have more vision and imagination than you ever will. Virtual Reality and Wii Motes are closesly related? Not any more closely related than an Nes Zapper (In usage, not build), or maybe my Sega Menacer. Look, aside from more of your general knowledge statements, comparing the Wiimotes to virtual reality “for everyone” is like comparing cars to personal spacecrafts; OH ITS THE FIRST STEP BECAUSE IT GOES!

You must be a woman, LOL. Don’t bother trying to show me the irony of my “useless comments” concept either.

Killer_Tofu (profile) says:


I have this odd feeling you are either not a video gamer, have never played the wii, or both.
Pointing the simple gun long ago used a flash of light and black vs white on the TV (light intensity by blanking screen, then white where the sprites were on frame 2, with a diode detecting the increase of intensity). These are external to the TV (see above post by Tom). Not to mention the gun had a very limited purpose, point and shoot. The Wii has point and shoot, tilt, rotation, distance, and elevation. Quite a leap over the point and click guns from the Zapper through the PS2 guns and their ilk.

Brad says:

Re: Re: Hmm

You can always spot a twelve-year-old on the internet.

“I’ve had my fun for today. Goodbye.”

Which translates to “I’m going to post some intentionally inflammatory (and poorly thought out) comments, then pretend it was all to get a slight rise out of a complete stranger correcting me, and then claim I knew it all along! I’m so clever, I wish my parents paid attention to me.”

Someone can’t really be “out of their league” in assuming anything, that just doesn’t make sense. You’re right though, owning something and understanding it are completely different, and I’m sure your parent’s money was well spent on the Wii and various other substitutions for real parenting.

Newob says:

Robot brains, meat computers

The more closely computers are designed to mimic human intelligence, the more they will also suffer from the same psychological problems. It is assumed by many (but not all) that psychology is an extension of biology. But when a non-biological mechanical intelligence shows mental hangups, that will expose the biological theory for the farce that it is. We are really just learning what makes a mind, and meat is not the only thing that can think.

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