Machine Vision Algorithm May Be the next Art Critic

Art historians still find defining art and its creative qualities tricky even today. Art has always been considered something that a human mind can understand and appreciate, but is it really?

A simplified definition of what makes one of the best pieces of art stand out is that they need to have a key element which inspired later artists to use in their own work.

Two researchers at the Rutgers University tend to disagree that humans are the only ones who can judge art. Based on a machine vision algorithm, they proved that paintings can be studied and judged by computers too.

The researchers put it to a test and fed the code a database of about 62,000 pictures of fine art paintings. The results achieved consisted in the computer recognising Monet’s Haystacks at Chailly at sunrise as being one of the most influential paintings in history.

Art critics would agree with the above and state that Rodin’s 1889 sculpture Danaid is not as influential as the machine deems too. But does this really mean a computer can judge fine art now?

The truth is that arguments between critics on determining the most influential pieces of art have been going on for ages now, but this algorithm could prove to be a basis on which they can agree upon.

The algorithm uses visual concepts that analyses both low-key elements, such as colour, texture and simple objects, as well as high-key elements like walking, smiling and so on. A computer then applies the algorithm to a database pool and comes up with the paintings which influenced other authors.

Also, the researchers tell us that the algorithm has bigger potential than just showing a list of paintings. They say that the algorithm can be used in other areas, such as literature, sculpture and even in science.

Thank you MIT Technology Review for providing us with this information

Image courtesy of hdwallpaperpc

SteelSeries Launches the Sentry Eye Tracker

The latest gadget out of the house of SteelSeries is the Sentry Eye Tracker and is designed to give web-streamers a new method of presenting their content as well as pro-gamers that want to optimize their flow by recording and analyzing their eye movements.

 

“Today, with our Sentry Eye Tracker, we are announcing an entirely new way for streamers and viewers to see the game,” Ehtisham Rabbani, SteelSeries CEO. “This is just the tip of the innovation iceberg for Sentry, and we could not be more excited to realize all the possibilities that emerge when your game knows where your eyes are looking.”

Gamers can also set the Sentry Eye Tracker up for controls, making it possible to activate something by just looking at it. This could be extremely useful, but also very hilarious and frustrating when happening by accident. The Sentry Eye Tracker works with 3 NIR LEDs that track and record your eye movements 50 times per second.

The new SteelSeries Sentry Eye Tracker should be available now for an MSRP of $199.99.

Thanks to SteelSeries for providing us with this information

Images and Video courtesy of SteelSeries

Small Device Tells if Your Drink has been Injected with a Noxious Solution

A device that tells if your drink has been injected with a noxious device, or spiked for short, has appeared on Indiegogo, aiming to rise about $100,000. Its name is pd.id (Personal Drink ID) and is said to have the size of a pack of gum, blinking red in just a few seconds if dipped into a drink which has a contaminant.

Its creator, J. Davids Wilson, said that the hardware uses the same tech as the US DEA, but shrunk down to a smaller than usual size. It works by analysing the sample taken from the drink, its density, resistance and temperature in order to determine if a foreign agent is present in it, such as rohypnol.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l4dkZbIUVjU[/youtube]

Once (and if most likely) the crowdfunding sum of $100,000 is raised, the team is said to bring the gear to the market in just six months. The starting price for the pd.id is said to be set at $75 per unit and yes, the device is reusable, so you won’t have to pay that sum after sampling every drink. The device, ridiculous as it may be, should be a nice addition to have when going on a night out in the club or parties. After drinking a few, you never know everyone’s thoughts around you. Just be sure not to lose the device in a drink.

Thank you Endgadget for providing us with this information
Image and video courtesy of Endgadget

Secret Artificial Intelligence Project has been In The Works for 30 Years

Cycorp look like any other research company, striving to create newer technologies in order to sell them to other companies and make life easier for people. However, the company has revealed that they were working on a piece of advanced artificial intelligence for 30 years, keeping it a secret up until now.

They have stated that the secrecy was kept by working on their own. This means no outside investments, no debts and no news about the project of course. The information which revealed the project in question has apparently been released by Cycorp, having the project near the stage where it could be ‘applicable enough’.

People’s desire for a Star Trek-like computer, namely an artificially intelligent system that could receive instructions in plain, spoken language, without the need of millions and millions of hard-coded instructions, has been on the list of ‘to-do’ things for many companies.

However, the method of user interface in question has been stated countless times to be extremely hard to achieve. Despite the latter, Cycorp aims to do this by ‘codify general human knowledge and common sense’, having computers then make use of it. They apparently have been attempting to figure out the pieces of data humans rely on daily, the knowledge required to understand the world, and represent that in a formal manner so that machines can use to reason.

Cycorp has apparently been building this ‘brain out of software’ from scratch since 1984. The product’s name is called Cyc and it is allegedly not ‘programmed’ in the conventional sense, but more like ‘taught’. Building a computer software is more of a procedure-like approach, using flowcharts for example as guidelines and specifications on what the actual piece of software is to perform. Cycorp describes Cyc to be built more like educating a child, having to teach it things.

For example, Cyc is able to see “the white space rather than the black space in what everyone reads and writes to each other.” This gives Cyc the ability to comprehend and reason with things deemed achievable only by humans. Also, given that Cyc has a vast knowledge of everything, it could soon be installed as a normal operating system on almost everything, including robots.

The company has stated that Cyc is currently being used to teach math for sixth graders. While the program understands the math, it listens to what students have to say and performs diagnostics on their confusion. With this, it is then able to figure out what behaviour it can carry out that would be most useful in aiding them understand things.

Though teaching math is nothing special, it is just an example of what Cyc is able to do, having to emphasise its radical technique in approaching a problem and solving it based on individual and unique analytical resolutions.

Thank you Business Insider for providing us with this information