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When engineers first endeavored to teach computers to see, they took it for granted that computers would see like humans. The first proposals for computer vision in the 1960s were “clearly motivated by characteristics of human vision,” said John Tsotsos, a computer scientist at York University.

 

Things have changed a lot since then.

 

Computer vision has grown from a pie-in-the-sky idea into a sprawling field. Computers can now outperform human beings in some vision tasks, like classifying pictures — dog or wolf? — and detecting anomalies in medical images. And the way artificial “neural networks” process visual data looks increasingly dissimilar from the way humans do.

 

Computers are beating us at our own game by playing by different rules.

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Category: Science