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Analyzing (All of) Star Trek With Face Recognition

kdawson posted more than 5 years ago | from the sees-you-when-you're-sleeping dept.

Graphics 140

An anonymous reader writes "Accurate face recognition is coming. Pittsburgh Pattern Recognition, a face recognition start-up spun out from Carnegie Mellon University, has posted a tech demo showing an analysis of the entire original Star Trek series using face recognition. The online visualization includes various annotated clips of the series with clickable thumbnails of each character's appearance. They also have a separate page showing the full data of all the prominent characters in every episode including extracting thumbnails of each appearance." Their software can recognize frontal or near-frontal face instances.

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anyone (5, Funny)

ionix5891 (1228718) | more than 5 years ago | (#27717591)

know the name of that red shirted guy?

Re:anyone (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27717631)

know the name of that red shirted guy?

They had names?

Re:anyone (5, Funny)

prefec2 (875483) | more than 5 years ago | (#27717725)

It is either Ensign Expendable or Lieutenant Cannonfodder. But I'm not quite sure.

Re:anyone (2, Informative)

Captain Splendid (673276) | more than 5 years ago | (#27718225)

Ensign Expendable or Lieutenant Cannonfodder

Just taking a wild guess here, but I'm sure the NCOs outdied the officers by an absurdly high ratio. Remember kids, shit rolls downhill.

Re:anyone (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27718757)

I don't think there were any non-coms. Ensign was the lowest rank.

Re:anyone (1)

Curien (267780) | more than 5 years ago | (#27719017)

There are people referred to simply as "crewman". And in ST6, at least one of the guys who assasinated Gorkun was called a "Yeoman".

Re:anyone (2, Funny)

ceoyoyo (59147) | more than 5 years ago | (#27718817)

Crewman Expendable. The officers very, very rarely died. And when they did they came back to life later.

Re:anyone (1)

fooslacker (961470) | more than 5 years ago | (#27718155)

Yes... Dead Guy #1 Dead Guy #2 etc.

Re:anyone (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27717639)

You mean the dead one?

Re:anyone (2, Funny)

stonedcat (80201) | more than 5 years ago | (#27718543)

They're all dead dave, everybody is dead dave.

Re:anyone (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27718909)

Red shirt. Not Red Dwarf.

Re:anyone (1)

ThatDamnMurphyGuy (109869) | more than 5 years ago | (#27717765)

Guy Fleegman :-)

Re:anyone (5, Funny)

RazzleDazzle (442937) | more than 5 years ago | (#27717989)

I'm not even supposed to be here. I'm just "Crewman Number Six." I'm expendable. I'm the guy in the episode who dies to prove how serious the situation is. I've gotta get outta here.

OT: sig reply (1)

NotQuiteReal (608241) | more than 5 years ago | (#27718041)

If it were me, I'd use "ZERO ZERO ONE ZERO ONE ZERO ONE ZERO" in the ultimate sig!

Re:anyone (1)

MrKaos (858439) | more than 5 years ago | (#27718093)

I'm the guy in the episode who dies to prove how serious the situation is.

Computer! Recognise Crewman Number Six, Terminate self destruct sequence, Access code ZERO ZERO ONE ZERO ONE ZERO ONE ONE...

Re:anyone (1)

rts008 (812749) | more than 5 years ago | (#27719281)

Did not 'Scotty' wear a 'red shirt' uniform in the original series?

He not only, had a name, but lasted a long time in the 'Trek World'.

Re:anyone (1)

azgard (461476) | more than 5 years ago | (#27719307)

The problem is he never faces directly to the camera, so he always be a mysterious white square with the current version of the software.

So much for Big Brother not being possible. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27717601)

So much for Big Brother not being possible.

It's not so bad... (3, Informative)

raehl (609729) | more than 5 years ago | (#27717647)

Unless you're looking pretty much straight-on towards the camera, this software doesn't appear to work. It does appear to be able to track a face over multiple frames if it can recognize it in one frame, but if you have 30 seconds where no suitable frame occurs, the software doesn't know who it is, even if it's pretty blatantly obvious to a human who it is.

Re:It's not so bad... (5, Funny)

bughunter (10093) | more than 5 years ago | (#27717871)

I imagine this scene [trekmovie.com] would cause a few problems for the software, too.

Ideal Tool for Locating Missing Children (2, Interesting)

reporter (666905) | more than 5 years ago | (#27718445)

Combining this face-recognition software with age-advancement software should produce the ideal software for locating missing children.

Most of us have seen the pictures of children who have gone missing. These pictures appear at Walmart, in the 1040 publication from the IRS, etc. Many such pictures contain the faces that have been advanced in age by computer software.

However, the reach of such pictures is limited. Few people pay attention to such pictures. Of the people who care enough to notice, they are not constantly looking for the missing children in order to report them to the police.

How can this new face-recognition software help? Most restaurants (like McDonalds), most movie theatres, and the like already have cameras that film everyone entering and leaving the premises. The government should feed these image streams into a cluster of supercomputers owned by the FBI and running this new face-recognition software. It will then match faces (in the crowds) against the age-advanced images of the missing children. Such a supercomputers could run 24 hours for 7 days per week and scan images that are fed from millions of locations across the USA.

In such a scenario, the chances of finding the missing children would be greatly improved.

ok ... (-1, Troll)

LordKaT (619540) | more than 5 years ago | (#27717645)

that was ... useless?

Re:ok ... (5, Interesting)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 5 years ago | (#27717701)

Are you serious? Not only is it a fantastic demonstration of face recognition technology under real world conditions, but it's also incredibly useful.. if you have a little vision. How many times have you been watching a tv show and said "wow, where have I seen that guy before?" To find out these days I typically do:

1. Take note of the show I'm watching and the episode name (if given).
2. Go to imdb and hope they have specific info on that specific episode.
3. Try to guess what the character's name was, and take note of the actor's name.
4. Click through to the actor's filmography.

And, most typically, one of those steps fails. Now imagine if your tivo or other media playing device had face recognition technology like this. You'd just press one button and it would put boxes around all the faces on-screen, you'd select the face you're interested in and it would immediately tell you the name of the actor, the name of the character that actor is playing in this episode, how many other episodes of this series that he's in, and the actor's entire filmography. That's a real product that I'd actually buy!

Re:ok ... (4, Funny)

LordKaT (619540) | more than 5 years ago | (#27717713)

Jesus, that's a lot of work to go through to figure out that Bruce Campbell has been in a shitload of B-movies.

Re:ok ... (1)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 5 years ago | (#27717733)

You wouldn't believe how many of the actors from Battlestar Galactica were in The Dead Zone.

Re:ok ... (1)

JackieBrown (987087) | more than 5 years ago | (#27717741)

Or popping up in Dollhouse now.

Cylons or Dollhouse (2, Funny)

scrib (1277042) | more than 5 years ago | (#27718015)

Which is scarier?
Approaching Cylons or your consciousness on a WD Green drive?

Re:ok ... (1)

WoodenTable (1434059) | more than 5 years ago | (#27718145)

To be fair though, facial recognition software doesn't work on Bruce Campbell. It recognizes most of his face correctly, but locks up every time it gets to his chin.

Re:ok ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27718985)

Well you can't very well divide by zero and expect a finite result.

Re:ok ... (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27717785)

Switch to wikipedia. It loads faster and has more useful and comprehensive information.

Re:ok ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27718027)

What's really amazing is that I was just doing this earlier, and commenting to a friend at how amazing it is that all this (even relatively trivial) information is all at our fingertips. And it's only taken us a few years to go from not having that information, to considering even these few steps tedious (and I agree!)

Re:ok ... (1)

Rick Bentley (988595) | more than 5 years ago | (#27719239)

get ready for a quad-core TiVo...

Re:ok ... (1)

Threni (635302) | more than 5 years ago | (#27717743)

> UnbalancedSimpletons.com [com.com]

You were trying to reach www.unbalancedsimpletons.com.com, which doesn't exist.

Re:ok ... (1)

LordKaT (619540) | more than 5 years ago | (#27717771)

Yeah I know, it's a bit of an inside joke.

Re:ok ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27717893)

Flamebait for a Shatner joke?

RIP Slashdot

BAH! Who cares about face whatchamacallit (1)

gringofrijolero (1489395) | more than 5 years ago | (#27717649)

What a wellspring of Trek trivia! For instance, in Spock's Brain, Spock gets less than 4 and a half minutes of screen time. Fascinating...

Shatner's a camera hog...

YRO? (1)

basementman (1475159) | more than 5 years ago | (#27717667)

Why is this in YRO? It's just plan cool.

Re:YRO? (2, Informative)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 5 years ago | (#27717697)

Probably because most of the world's CCTV cameras are feeding us rather than old Star Trek episodes back to Orwell HQ...

Re:YRO? (1)

RiotingPacifist (1228016) | more than 5 years ago | (#27717963)

Yeah but you can't expect privacy outside of your own home, that's why its they're called public spaces not private ones.

Re:YRO? (4, Insightful)

William Baric (256345) | more than 5 years ago | (#27718613)

Could you post the journal of all the things you did in public places today? I'm interest to know. Begin by telling me all the address of all the houses and buildings you entered. I mean... you can't expect privacy as soon as you leave your door, right? So I'm sure you won't mind if I know, right?

BTW, Slashdot is certainly a public place and so hiding behind a nickname should not be expected. Could you give us your real name please?

Re:YRO? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27719323)

This is my real name you insensitive clod

Unfair to Klingons! (3, Funny)

Walt Dismal (534799) | more than 5 years ago | (#27717673)

We forehead-challenged beings demand you stop your software discrimination!

Re:Unfair to Klingons! (1)

beatbox32 (325106) | more than 5 years ago | (#27717943)

Dude, you're obviously not a real Klingon. You would have just chopped off their heads with your bat'leth.

Re:Unfair to Klingons! (1)

religious freak (1005821) | more than 5 years ago | (#27717983)

pfft, you didn't receive your wacky foreheads yet. This is TOS, remember???

Re:Unfair to Klingons! (1)

dr_dank (472072) | more than 5 years ago | (#27718679)

pfft, you didn't receive your wacky foreheads yet. This is TOS, remember???

We do not discuss it with outsiders.

Re:Unfair to Klingons! (1)

magarity (164372) | more than 5 years ago | (#27718521)

There's no forehead issue here. They analyzed the original series where Klingons looked like Kossacks (sans horses).

Re:Unfair to Klingons! (1)

baKanale (830108) | more than 5 years ago | (#27718811)

Would you say this software violates your "human rights"? Or would you say that even suggesting the term is racist, and that the Federation is basically a "homo sapiens" only club?

Boom! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27717679)

Headshot!

I, for one... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27717687)

I, for one, welcome our camera overlo...

Oh, wait, no, that's just a bad idea. Soon we'll have cameras everywhere and Big Brother will be tracki%!$*%& [NO CARRIER]

Re:I, for one... (1)

JWSmythe (446288) | more than 5 years ago | (#27718017)

Identifying poster IP...

    Tracking User with GUI interface written in Visual Basic to track the IP address...

    Sending kill pulse over Internet to disable user communications...

    Isolating coordinates on power grid, and disabling power service...

    Dispatching unmarked black vans and helicopters for potential terrorist pickup... Use of deadly force authorized...

    When our agents reach your house, don't resist. It'll just make your death more painful, and make our agents work harder. The outcome is inevitable. On never mind, you can't see this, now can you. But maybe others will learn from your mistakes.

    Have a nice day.

 

Seven of Nine! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27717695)

nuff said

Re:Seven of Nine! (0)

v1 (525388) | more than 5 years ago | (#27717757)

actually that would be interesting to see what percentage of screentime she got in the eps she was a primary in. Though I suspect they had many reasons for choosing STTOS to demo this. (1) geek attraction, (2) universally heard of, (3) probably most important: out of copyright. I'm sure the sharks were foaming at the mouth when they saw this. I'd love to see it on something more modern like voyager but that's not likely to happen for awhile.

I was just rewatching TNG and omigod barclay is all OVER that series.... he's often in good enough makeup and adjusting his voice so it's almost impossible to tell it's him until you see his mannerisms and then it's all over. Interesting how you can change your voice and your looks, but be so totally given-away by your mannerisms. But then he's a bit far out on the bell-curve there.

Re:Seven of Nine! (4, Informative)

Tubal-Cain (1289912) | more than 5 years ago | (#27717917)

(3) probably most important: out of copyright.

Really? [wikipedia.org]

Re:Seven of Nine! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27718235)

I was doing the same randomly, and noticed that "Gul Dukat" is in at least two other roles in TNG, as the romulan they meet in the first romulan episode in season one, and as a kligon commander.

I thought of something similar (4, Interesting)

whois (27479) | more than 5 years ago | (#27717699)

About a year or two ago

What I wanted was for face recognition software to become more general so you could search for movies using vague memories from your childhood:

"Girl on boat", "Wheat field", "Yellow flag"

With an advanced enough search engine, you could tag everything automatically.

I didn't think of privacy concerns though, I guess thats a good point.

Re:I thought of something similar (1)

doesnothingwell (945891) | more than 5 years ago | (#27717951)

Uh, booby search

Re:I thought of something similar (1)

mkiwi (585287) | more than 5 years ago | (#27718347)

I actually have that and I can attest that the only thing it recognizes is pornography.

Pfft (1)

martin-boundary (547041) | more than 5 years ago | (#27717735)

Machine recognition (facial or otherwise) is a lot easier in the lab setting, where you have a small pool of objects to recognize and a lot of data on each object. In typical non-lab settings, you have a large pool of objects to recognize and a small amount of data on each object, and your recognition rates (fp and fn) go south pretty quickly.

Re:Pfft (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27717823)

The whole point here is that ST:TOS is not exactly a lab setting. It is far more similar to a real world use case of analyzing video footage of something like a workplace environment.

Re:Pfft (1)

RmB303 (623042) | more than 5 years ago | (#27717945)

Yeah, because actors in a TV programme don't deliberately face the camera more often than the general public do with CCTV.

Re:Pfft (1)

ceoyoyo (59147) | more than 5 years ago | (#27718833)

I think you mean TP and TN (true positive and true negative). FP and FN (false positive and false negative) are your MISrecognition rates. You want them to go south.

All of Star Trek is a much better test than the usual two or three grad students who were unlucky enough to come into the lab that day test.

Fair use? (1)

bobdotorg (598873) | more than 5 years ago | (#27717775)

I would hope so, but how is this not using someone else's copyrighted crap for commercial gain?

This is a fun demo of their product, and realistically can't affect Star Trek revenues in a negative way. However, I suspect that some Paramount copyright lawyer might be getting wood about now.

Re:Fair use? (2, Funny)

Shikaku (1129753) | more than 5 years ago | (#27717789)

I am a female lawyer you insensitive clod!

Re:Fair use? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27717827)

Hey,

I've been thinking of going to jail recently and I really need a good female attorney to "represent me" during those private attorney/client visitations....

Re:Fair use? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27718009)

Suggestion 173: Don't pick up girls on /.

Re:Fair use? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27719065)

Okay, then how bout 'tumescent in anticipation about now'?

Re:Fair use? (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 5 years ago | (#27717913)

There is some chance they consulted with a real actual lawyer, or went so far as to contact Paramount directly.

Re:Fair use? (1)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 5 years ago | (#27718081)

> I would hope so, but how is this not using someone else's copyrighted crap for
> commercial gain?

That does not rule out fair use.

Doesn't work well (5, Interesting)

genner (694963) | more than 5 years ago | (#27717803)

If you let it play a few minutes you'll see it indenify Spock and then in the next scene he comes up as unknown even though he's facing the camera. The system seems to fail when he arches his eyebrows.

Re:Doesn't work well (5, Funny)

Burdell (228580) | more than 5 years ago | (#27717905)

The system seems to fail when he arches his eyebrows.

Fascinating!

Re:Doesn't work well (1)

RiotingPacifist (1228016) | more than 5 years ago | (#27717955)

There is obviously room for improvement, it seams like they analyze each frame separately as sometimes nodding a head will remove the recognition even if the character stays in shot, some sort of object tracking software could be added to compensate for that, but what they have achieved is defiantly quite impressive.

Re:Doesn't work well (4, Funny)

karnal (22275) | more than 5 years ago | (#27718139)

defiantly quite impressive.

I had to read that twice to fully understand that you may have meant "definitely." Or perhaps, you do think it's defiantly quite impressive. God, that's even hard to type.

Re:Doesn't work well (1)

4181 (551316) | more than 5 years ago | (#27719023)

... you'll see it indenify Spock and then in the next scene he comes up as unknown even though he's facing the camera.

Hair cut recognition would help here.

sooooo..... (1)

mistahkurtz (1047838) | more than 5 years ago | (#27717825)

and nothing of value was ... wait, they did what?...

Per-episode graph (2, Interesting)

Geam (30459) | more than 5 years ago | (#27717845)

I am not sure how much I really trust that per-episode chart once I started looking at one of the sample episodes. At some points the face recognition will not pick up on main characters for apparently no reason. For example, in episode 53 at about 1:30 in the sample there is dialog between Spock, Kirk, and someone else. The camera angles are steady and consistent (other than people turning their head while talking) and sometimes the system does not recognize one of the characters after it did just a few seconds earlier. On the right side it shows the name of the character or "Other" if it recognizes a face, but not compared to something it knows about.

Overall, this is simply amazing!

CCTV Cameras, guys (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27717851)

You do realize all those CCTV cameras can now be put to work tracking you? The only silver lining is that most CCTV cameras have terrible resolution/lighting, so they might not work as well ... until they're upgraded ...

time to start wearing tin-foil face masks?

What if it were in software we could buy??? (1)

kodyhudson (1541179) | more than 5 years ago | (#27717875)

Accurate face recogition is coming!!! Really? Imagine if a company that made photo software made it so that the software would recognize the faces in your photos and then would automatically find the same faces and let you assign a name to them. Then you could look at all the photos of that person without having to manually tag the photos! Just imagine if someone did that. I guess we'll have to wait for accurate face recognition to actually come. [/sarcasm]

Lotsa problems (3, Insightful)

bgspence (155914) | more than 5 years ago | (#27717881)

Checkout http://facemining.pittpatt.com/S3E75/ [pittpatt.com] , Scotty shows up under Kirk twice, and thats with just one try.

Or, http://facemining.pittpatt.com/S1E12/ [pittpatt.com] actor 0117 has an odd match on my second peek.

They might want to try shirt matching.

Re:Lotsa problems (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27718709)

You think those are bad? Check out http://facemining.pittpatt.com/S3E73/ [pittpatt.com]

Re:Lotsa problems (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27718955)

Scotty shows up under Kirk twice, and thats with just one try.

Wow, this show was more progressive than I realized.

What it doesn't do (2, Insightful)

actionbastard (1206160) | more than 5 years ago | (#27717929)

Is recognize the faces of actors in makeup that may change their facial features. It doesn't recognize Vina when she appears in the 'non-illusion' state, although to real people she is still easily recognizable as Vina. So they have a 'ways to go' with their capabilities.

Novel but not new... (1)

Manip (656104) | more than 5 years ago | (#27717961)

There is nothing in principle bad about what is being demonstrated here. But let's be clear, this isn't a new step forward, this quality of facial recognition has been around for years (just ask Vegas).

The biggest limitation on facial recognition is and has always been the data processing cost. In terms of that the technology is obviously getting more and more viable as hardware progresses.

Might we see this in a TV in the future? Maybe. But only when the cost of the hardware gets to a certain point and then someone successfully markets that to the general populace.

Sure, but... (-1, Flamebait)

CuteSteveJobs (1343851) | more than 5 years ago | (#27718001)

I can still hire a guy in India to do this for a fraction of the cost.

Re:Sure, but... (1)

giorgist (1208992) | more than 5 years ago | (#27718057)

Sure, do that for all the people entering a stadium ? Now spot the guy with a criminal record.

meanwhile, two years ago ...
http://www.hostcity.co.uk/features/stadium_tech/face.html

 

Re:Sure, but... (0)

CuteSteveJobs (1343851) | more than 5 years ago | (#27719293)

When was the last time anyone had to pick a criminal from a football stadium? Is it better (and cheaper) than the police at seeing past false moustaches and haircuts? This is creating technology for a problem that doesn't exist (unless you want to sell it en masse for a surveillance society like China or Britain). And if you want to do it on a smaller scale, there are many things you can do more economically with humans. At least the spammers displayed some ingenuity employing Indians to type in Captcha codes. They could have wasted bazillions inventing some quatum OCR R&D superstring DNA genetic programming project. A good researcher solves problems worth solving, and there are plenty of those.

As for the Moron who modded my post down for saying that you can hire someone in India for cheaper: Yeah mate, I remember my first modpoints too.

No body else finds this frightening? (1)

glebovitz (202712) | more than 5 years ago | (#27718123)

This is cool technology for my Tivo, but it also sounds like this technology could scan through the thousands of video feeds collected by municipal surveillance cameras and track my every movement. Not that my life is so interesting to anyone else, but what if it were?

Yes, but what America wants to know is... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27718181)

...did they find Osama bin Laden, and which episode was it?

What a load of rubbish (1)

Turzyx (1462339) | more than 5 years ago | (#27718245)

So this software can recognise a face shown in a screenshot or video clip. So what?

You could simply hold up a picture to the thing to fool it, or an iPhone with the first season of Star Trek playing it would seem.

What a waste of time. The only facial recognition worth mentioning is the pattern projection method (gah, can't find link), which actually requires you have a 3D face for it work, but even then you can always trick it [slashdot.org]

Re:What a load of rubbish (1)

justinlee37 (993373) | more than 5 years ago | (#27718921)

You could simply hold up a picture to the thing to fool it, or an iPhone with the first season of Star Trek playing it would seem

That doesn't apply to all potential applications. What if we, say, used the facial recognition software to analyze mugshots of criminals who didn't cooperate with attempts to be identified, and cross-referenced the mugshots with digital databases of driver's license ID photos?

They won't be able to hold up a picture to fool the recognition software when they are being monitored in the police station.

And that's just ONE potential use. Personally I don't see how this is a waste of time.

AI... (1)

Anenome (1250374) | more than 5 years ago | (#27718277)

I'd heard it said recently that things that computers can do in the realm of facial recognition, speech-recognition, and (a little more obviously) optical character recognition have come a damned long way, far further than most realize. That most people's experience with, say, speech-recognition is through some free-ware (crapware actually) and they don't know just how good the state of the art is. Which is: damned good.

Speech-recognition is essentially a solved problem. OCR is easy, obviously, with all the CAPTCHA news going around. Face recognition, sure, sure, this article proves it. So, what's next?

Areas that computers do not excel yet: writing a review of a book or movie, inferred of information, etc. But, it's though that by about 2025 the number of transistors and speed of processors will be such as to rival the brain and after that point all bets are off. It will be an exciting 15 years in AI research.

You might think of a human as a program running in physical memory space. When the power shuts off, we die. But, if we imagine a conscious program we can imagine a being who can 'image' every moment of life (or of their brain), save it, and even rewind backwards, or stop and start states, easily. If you're an AI and you see something you don't want to remember, just rewind a bit and it's gone forever :P If we become: Techumans, that is, human intelligences uploaded into the machine, then life becomes far more interesting going forward on so many fronts...

Re:AI... (3, Insightful)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 5 years ago | (#27718615)

OCR is easy, obviously, with all the CAPTCHA news going around.

Bullshit.

OCRs typically boast 99% accuracy -- which sounds good until you realize that this means an error in every line or two of text.

CAPTCHAs only need to be able to solve correctly a small percentage of the time to be effective -- even smaller, given humans can screw them up, too, and that problem is getting worse. So for example, Gmail couldn't just blacklist your IP for trying to register gmail accounts, without seeing quite a lot of abuse -- and botnets make IPs almost irrelevant anyway. But even 10% accuracy, which would result in absolutely unreadable OCR, would still mean that out of every 10 gmail accounts you attempt to sign up for, you get one fully functional account.

Which is damned good, for a spammer.

But, it's though that by about 2025 the number of transistors and speed of processors will be such as to rival the brain and after that point all bets are off. It will be an exciting 15 years in AI research.

I'll place a bet: We don't currently understand the human brain very well. How do you suppose we'll be able to emulate it? And your guess of 15 years seems very optimistic...

Put another way, if I gave you a brand-new, top-of-the-line computer -- for the sake of argument, let's say it's a fully loaded Mac Pro -- only with the hard drive completely formatted, could you make it do anything useful?

I'll make it slightly more realistic. I'll give you what Linus Torvalds had: A copy of Minix and a C compiler. And of course, you've got more hardware than he does. Could you just write a modern OS?

If you assume that the raw power will let us "evolve" an AI, I'm going to suggest that it takes much more hardware to evolve a program into being than it does to run it.

But, if we imagine a conscious program we can imagine a being who can 'image' every moment of life (or of their brain), save it, and even rewind backwards, or stop and start states, easily. If you're an AI and you see something you don't want to remember, just rewind a bit and it's gone forever :P

Yes, the last 15 years or more of science fiction -- cyberpunk, in particular -- make clear just how cool it would be for an AI to exist. That doesn't mean we're anywhere close.

human intelligences uploaded into the machine

Here's the uncomfortable truth: It may well be that we create AI, but no means to "upload" ourselves. Ever. The best we can do is create AI children.

And they might not like us very much. See the other side of cyberpunk -- distopian futures with robotic overlords. (Terminator comes to mind.)

Re:AI... (1)

Anenome (1250374) | more than 5 years ago | (#27718905)

Hehe, I could answer a few of these questions, but they are the subject of the novel I'm currently writing :)
The 2025 estimate isn't mine, it's Ray Kurzweil's, look him up, he's done a lot more research on it than either of us, including two books on the topic. The estimate is based on the number of neurons in the human brain and a projection of Moore's Law to discover how many transistors & ghz would be needed to approximate the processing power equivalent of the human brain. 2025 is actually the later date, he says 2020 - 2025.

Lastly, brain imaging tools have come a very, very, long way. Did you see a recent article which announced the discovery of a way to increase the sensitivity of micro-MRI machines by over 1,000,000 times?

http://news.cnet.com/8301-11386_3-10141097-76.html [cnet.com]

It's hip to be skeptical, and certainly the last 60 years of AI research seem to have gone relatively nowhere, but that was the point of my post: that perception is no longer correct. That ignores the fact, as Kurzweil points out, that progress is not linear but in fact exponential.

As far as modeling the brain, there are researchers which are able to actually trace the circuits in the brain tied to various systems. One example, researchers tied a glowing gene into mice to create glowing brain cells visible in real-time under a microscope. Then they began implanting several different color genes into different parts of the system creating 'rainbow mice' where different parts of the brain glow different colors making it even easier to see all parts of the system:

http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/summary/300/5616/78 [sciencemag.org]

With such mice they've been picking apart the actual circuitry of the brain and getting it working, including building theoretical models of the observed brain-system. When running the model the result is auditory processing as good as the animal produces.

So, perhaps even you are not quite as up to date on the science as you'd thought.

Re:AI... (1)

ceoyoyo (59147) | more than 5 years ago | (#27718853)

Speech-recognition is essentially a solved problem. OCR is easy, obviously, with all the CAPTCHA news going around. Face recognition, sure, sure, this article proves it. So, what's next?

All those HAVE come a long way, but that's a lot different than being solved problems. OCR is pretty good, but it's not as good as someone reading. Speech recognition is mostly usable, if you train it well and have a good microphone in a quiet room, but that's a long way from what your brain can do - virtually 100% recognition of unknown people even with heavy accents in noisy environments. Face recognition isn't anywhere close to what you do every day, without even thinking about it.

YUO F_AIL IT (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27718305)

raise or lower the of FreeBsD Usenet alike to reap +Lube is wiped off clean for the next architecture. My

killer app, but really new tech? (1)

eatvegetables (914186) | more than 5 years ago | (#27718519)

Given the pittpatt founders come from CMU, I'm sure they are brilliant and will find more creative and interesting ways to turn pattern recog into $$. However, is this tech really new/cutting edge? Facial recog has been around for a while. Heck, I had to write similar software as projects in grad school. Sounds like pittpatt founders might have developed faster, more accurate/reliable algorithms (far better than I could do). However, is this really enough to support a new company? Maybe the interesting details just haven't been made available. If not, then this may be a premature slashdotting. Comp vision, pattern recognition, and machine learning are all popular courses at top comp sci grad schools. Hence, I expect to see hordes of new companies and lots of competition for these folks in the not too distant future. Having a better algorithm is not nearly as good as having a great, new, innovative product.

Re:killer app, but really new tech? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27718569)

Having a better algorithm is not nearly as good as having a great, new, innovative product.

Heh...tell that to Google. They arrived late in the search engine scene, but simply did it better and with less intrusive ads. Better algorithm + better delivery.

Seriously...ideas are a dime a dozen. Having an idea for the next revolutionary product is not going to get you success. The devil is in the details, it's in how you implement your idea into a successful business plan. It's not a race to see who gets the best product first. The products arrive, and then we wait until we have someone who can actually deliver it with a sound business plan.

Re:killer app, but really new tech? (1)

eatvegetables (914186) | more than 5 years ago | (#27718629)

Heh...tell that to Google. They arrived late in the search engine scene, but simply did it better and with less intrusive ads. Better algorithm + better delivery.

+better run company. Seems that ongoing, insane innovation in a number of areas such as Google docs, chat, email, etc. was what pushed Google over the top. Google provided a plethora of cool products for free that attracted throngs of adoring fans to its shores. I'd argue that improvements in search algorithms helped, but were not the driving forces behind companies ongoing successes.

Greasepaint is a cloaking device (2, Interesting)

carlzum (832868) | more than 5 years ago | (#27718995)

If you don't want to be recognized by facial recognition software, wear black and white greasepaint. In Episode 70 [pittpatt.com] the actors playing Lokai and Bele are misidentified in a few scenes. The images are categorized by the black and white makeup rather than the actor. I'm not sure why Bele's face paint is reversed in some of the images. Did he look in a mirror or something, or did the video capture reverse it?

Face Recognization technology for the public? (1)

Ender77 (551980) | more than 5 years ago | (#27719045)

Since we are on the subject of Face Recolonization, when will some public use FR come into effect? I really like google's FR for online albums, but I have a hard drive with GIGS of pictures I would like to easily go through and find and name faces for me. I am hoping google or some company will release an offline FR software that we can use. Anybody know of any commercial software that does it?
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