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161 comments

And this is a Virtual Story! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20804455)

Brought to virtually by Roland and kdawson!

Ban Roland (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20804461)

Idiot.

Re:Ban Roland (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20804501)

Bro, been there, done that. I recall a dive restaurant (a cafe with bugs big enough to saddle and ride, but cheap, good food) -- their bathroom never saw a mop ever before. Not until I had my date with it.

After battling a serious bout of tummy grumbles (food poisoning from my girlfriend's meatloaf), I got to feeling like my old self again. I went down to this restaurant for my first good meal in forty-eight hours, give or take. I picked something really easy on the gut: two boiled eggs, sausage, bacon, and a cheese biscuit. Simple, utilitarian.

Got in there, started eating, and felt a little something knock on my butt's door wanting out. I took a sprint to the toidy, which smelled like a never-washed whorehouse on the top floor of a bait shop in July in Africa. It was one of those singular-style shitters: a room with the amenities. No multiple stalls -- it was a classic room, toilet, sink, and door, all of which helped in locking the stank in with me. But I was in a tight spot, as it was a good half mile to anywhere else, and I didn't have time.

I dropped my jeans and drawers and began to begin. But before I could permit the flow from the rear, I had a much more serious issue. The smell had triggered an extremely acute case of "get the fuck out of my way because I am about to puke like a bulemic eater after an oyster-eating contest".

The sink was too high and too far away for me to heave into it like a gentleman, so I hopped off the toilet, pivoted, and took my toilet praying position, pants around my ankles, ass pointed firmly at the door. Once I began my little heave, I noticed an old problem: if I am about to take a dump and I barf, I still poop anyways. Funny under some conditions. Not funny in this particular one.

It began with a thunderous fart. I recall hearing the toilet paper holder's little steel cover rattling. Then the flow began.

Unfortunately, the dump which I was uncontrollably letting out was not at all what I had expected or hope for. A couple of turds, firm, solid -- I could just don toilet paper gloves and put them in the pot. But one cannot solve having sprayed watery shit all over a commercial size toilet door, from hinge to latch and from sill to top, with toilet paper. It just so happened that that wasn't the worst of my problems.

Apparently my heaving had caused my upper body to lurch down and then back up, which basically turned my butt into a large, stink-filled Super Soaker.

However, when I turned around to survey the carnage, I was startled by the presence of a somewhat strong, slightly geeky looking fellow. While I only saw a glimpse of him before he forcefully turned me around, I did pick up some good details for the cops. He was about six foot tall wearing a mechanic's workshirt with "Roland" on the nametag. He had an iPhone on his belt next to his obnoxiously large keyring. Off the ring dangled a usb memory stick with a penguin sticker.

After staring at my ass while I spewed puke and shit simultaneously, like in a scene from South Park, he composed himself and forcibly bent me over the toilet. As I pushed off the rim in a vain effort to abscond, his large, muscular hands forced my head into the pool of half-digested eggs, bacon and biscuit that had become the toilet. To disorient me, he flushed several times. The sound of belt coming undone and pants crumpling on the ground sent shivers down my spine.

-Skurf-Skluuuurf-Bluurfffff- I could hear a hand generously lubricating a penis with what I later discovered was a mixture of feces and spit. Then I felt the urge to blow anus again. Just as the heat pressed out from the inside, I felt a new presence fighting it's way in from the outside.

The penis eased it's way in as shit oozed out around it and down my leg. At least four inches long, the member pounded into my rectum without relief. Unfortunately, neither shit nor spit suffice as lubricants in quite the same way that KY does. I was not, however, in a position to argue.

After a few moments, the pain began to ease up and a new pleasure replaced it. The same hands that had crushed my skull into the rim were now caressing my penis into erection. Combined with the intense feelings from my anus, I was being raped into ecstasy!

No sooner had I ejaculated than the large man with the Roland nametag ran from the bathroom, pants pulled up, but belt undone. On the floor was a piece of paper with a phone number. I call it now every weekend, after taking a generous helping of prunes and ex-lax.

DON'T CLICK THE LINK!!! (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20805213)

Don't give that asshat any hits!

Re: Ban Roland (1)

Dolda2000 (759023) | more than 6 years ago | (#20805331)

Ban Roland
I've seen this sentiment on numerous occasions, but I don't quite understand it. What is wrong about him? I can't say that I can see anything obviously suspicious about this story.

Re: Ban Roland (1)

unfunk (804468) | more than 6 years ago | (#20805605)

I agree.. This really needs explanation for the rest of us slashdotting folks...

Re: Ban Roland (4, Informative)

The_Wilschon (782534) | more than 6 years ago | (#20805765)

The general explanation, as I have seen it given many many times previously, is that, rather than write a /. story which links to some science/tech article, roland will paraphrase the article in his blog, and link the /. story to his paraphrase. This is a means of gaining ad revenue for himself and his employers (ZDnet, I think?), but it doesn't give any ad revenue to those who actually did and wrote up the research.

Is this true? I don't know. I never RTFA.

Re: Ban Roland (4, Funny)

shellbeach (610559) | more than 6 years ago | (#20805807)

The general explanation, as I have seen it given many many times previously, is that, rather than write a /. story which links to some science/tech article, roland will paraphrase the article in his blog, and link the /. story to his paraphrase. This is a means of gaining ad revenue for himself and his employers (ZDnet, I think?), but it doesn't give any ad revenue to those who actually did and wrote up the research.

Is this true? I don't know. I never RTFA.
The links are to the original story. The "Roland Piquepaille" link goes to his blog, but it's unlikely anyone will be clicking on that one unless they're interested in the guy ... in which case, good for him.

Incidentally, if there are any ads generating revenue on that blog, I'm not seeing them thanks to adblock. I doubt /. is the best place to try to get ad revenue, somehow ...

Re: Ban Roland (1)

SirTalon42 (751509) | more than 6 years ago | (#20805809)

He USED TO link to his blog as the article links in his text, which had ads. Now he links directly to the articles he talks about in the /. summary, and his name's link is no_follow (I think).

Pretty sure the Roland hate is from what used to happen and not anything he does now (AFAIK).

That's not an optical illusion (2, Funny)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 6 years ago | (#20804463)

That is just a difference in lighting.

Re:That's not an optical illusion (1, Informative)

Eddi3 (1046882) | more than 6 years ago | (#20804489)

That's the idea. The robot sees how we see, and thus fell for the illusion of green and orange, when both squares are green.

Re:That's not an optical illusion (5, Informative)

cathector (972646) | more than 6 years ago | (#20804539)

no, it's not a difference in lighting.
the central squares are in fact the same color on your monitor, (pretty close to hex: 647316).

this is very similar to this famous color constancy illusion [wikipedia.org] .

Re:That's not an optical illusion (3, Informative)

alexhs (877055) | more than 6 years ago | (#20804727)

I think that's not what the parent meant.

Lightning change through the day, so the actual color of reflecting objects also is changing. But the object didn't physically change and your brain "corrects" color, that is abstracts them (you wouldn't say your blue car to be blue the day and dark gray the night, it's simply blue).

In the illusion at hand, left sphere is interpreted as being lit by a red light, while the red sphere is interpreted as being lit by a blue light.

Of course, "Ceci ne sont pas des sphères", only pixels, so the comparison on interpreted colors fails.
But given two real spheres, lit one by a red light and one by a blue light, and reflecting like in the picture, the colors would be different with these two spheres lit by a same white light.

Re:That's not an optical illusion (4, Informative)

nine-times (778537) | more than 6 years ago | (#20804873)

Of course, "Ceci ne sont pas des sphères", only pixels, so the comparison on interpreted colors fails.

That's what makes it an optical illusion. Your brain is interpreting visual information based on a context which causes a failed interpretation. That could be a definition for "optical illusion".

These aren't colored spheres, and no one said they were colored spheres. It's just an arrangement of colored patches, arranged in such a way as to give your mind a bunch of visual cues that there are different colored lights shining on those patches, causing your brain to misjudge the actual color of those colored patches. Hence, it is an illusion.

Re:That's not an optical illusion (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20806115)

The error lies in presupposing that the question is really asking "what would this pixel color be in reality" rather than just "what's this pixel color on this screen". Once you are told that it's an "optical illusion" you can focus merely on the two center squares and determine that they are indeed the same color. Just as a computer program can be trained to ignore the surrounding image. I think it's more of a trick question if anything.

No matter what I'll put my money on a radiometer over the human eye any day of the week.

Re:That's not an optical illusion (2, Funny)

icepick72 (834363) | more than 6 years ago | (#20806205)

Ya my brain had failed interpretation too ... and ... *sniff* *sniff* ... does anybody else smell burnt toast?

Re:That's not an optical illusion (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20805011)

It's nothing new that hardware has trouble detecting independent identical colours when they're swamped with other colours. When my lecturer handed out the same optical illusion 12 years ago, he apologised because the photocopier actually copied the middle squares differently, so there actually was a difference in the masked centres when there wasn't in the original.

Re:That's not an optical illusion (3, Informative)

Tank720 (1164591) | more than 6 years ago | (#20806213)

It's not about lighting at all. It's about lateral inhibition. The neurons in your brain, when connected in a nural network, send inhibition signals to their neighboring neurons. Areas close on you retinas have neurons on the same part of the brain, so the squares surrounding the center square are going to activate neurons close to the ones you use to see the center square. Now the lighter squares send a stronger signal to the neurons surrounding the center square, thus sending MORE inhibition, thus making the square appear darker. w0rd.

Re:That's not an optical illusion (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20804737)

What's your point?

If you put a white tile in a room with red light, do you want the robot to see a white tile? or a red tile?

If you change the light, from red to blue, do you want the robot to still be able to identify it as the same tile?

If yes, then this should be considered "a difference in lighting" and not an error on the part of the computer vision algorithm.

Re:That's not an optical illusion (1)

Original Replica (908688) | more than 6 years ago | (#20805023)

not an error on the part of the computer vision algorithm.

When I first looked at the illusion I didn't see the spheres so much as one in red light and one in blue light, but though they were two different plaid buttons. The "trick" didn't work so well for me. I went back and looked at the illusion again and this time noticed the "puddles of light" at the bottom of each sphere and my visual cortex reinterpretated and the "trick" worked.(try looking at the illusion with the puddles of light covered up and thinking of them a differently pigmented patterns) Our brain makes a lot of assumptions to fill in information when we look around. I wonder how much of that is worked into having the computer "see like we do".

Re:That's not an optical illusion (1)

Orange Crush (934731) | more than 6 years ago | (#20805643)

That's not the same thing. When you put a white tile under a red light vs a blue light, then photograph it, the sensor (and our eyes) are going to register the red and blue light being reflected from the tile and it really will show up as red or blue (well, YMMV on the actual shade detected).

In this case, the center squares in the image are the same exact color and it has nothing to do with lighting. The pixels don't lie. Our eyes (being tied to the crazy pattern-recognition system our visual cortexes are) view the squares in the context of their neighboring squares and we perceive them as different shades.

Re:That's not an optical illusion (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20804559)

The optical illusion shows that the perceived color depends heavily on the surrounding image. In reality, these two squares would indeed not have the same actual (object) color. The light sources are different, so the squares likely are different too if they reflect the same mixture of light. But conversely two identically colored squares or one object in two different locations will look differently if the white balance is thrown off by other objects in the scene. What this means for robotics is that automatic white balance, exposure compensation and different light sources can make robots treat one and the same object as two different objects, because it appears in a different color in two locations, or mistake an object for another because they look the same under different light.

Re:That's not an optical illusion (1)

T-Bone-T (1048702) | more than 6 years ago | (#20804731)

In reality, these two squares would indeed not have the same actual (object) color. The light sources are different, so the squares likely are different too if they reflect the same mixture of light.
That is incorrect. Nobody said anything about lighting. The text with the image says the discs are different colors with the central squares being "physically identical". If you can point out where it said they were lit with different lights, I will take my statement back.

Re:That's not an optical illusion (1)

JackHoffman (1033824) | more than 6 years ago | (#20804851)

The illusion is constructed to look like the different colors of the surrounding area are caused by different lighting (the object looks the same, except for the color, the color difference is such that it can be caused by tinted light and there is an indication of shadow and surrounding tinted light on the "ground"). Our visual system would still be fooled if they had just split a 2D checkerboard in half and colored it differently, but then we would be more cautious about our conscious assessment. The illusion shows that we don't "see" the absolute color of the reflected light but subconsciously attempt to deduce the object color by compensating for the lighting, which is a good thing, not a defect.

More exactly : diffent surrounding... (5, Informative)

DrYak (748999) | more than 6 years ago | (#20804843)

...that's a difference in surrounding lightning.

Human visual system (as most other senses) work not by absolute values (i.e.: it doesn't see that the color '#c0ff20' or whatever), but mainly by comparing the signal with signals from the surrounds.
Thus what we technically see is that on the left object the central case looks much more "greener" than its surrounding, in the right object, the central case is "much more orange" than the surrounding. In fact, when the mask is enable, the colours do change from the point of view of the visual system : we were seeing contrast with two different surrounding, now we see a contrast with a third surround (mostly black). We see three different contrasts, even if from the computer's point of view the color is them same (the same RGB triplet / same intensity on your CRT/LCD)

If the scientist are trying to build efficient visual systems, they are probably mimicking this "works-by-comparing" method that the nature is using.
That's why we can recognise the same object, during day, during night, with weird lights, displayed on the screen (worse colour gamut) or on a print out (even worse color range). Because the relative difference stay the same, even if the colour as-seen-by-a-computer change.

The same is valid for any other sens, or in fact, any other information that is processed by neurons. Everything works by comparing (across several signals, across time, etc.). There's no such thing as "an absolute value" in the information carried by neurons.

That's also why all those "but the human eye can only x thousands of colors" (usually mocking the latest 32bit, 48bit, floating point or whatever color depth), are fundamentally wrong.
Yes, the human visual system can only distinguish a hundred or so colors.... ...WHEN those colors are ISOLATED. (i.e: putting the name "red" "orange" "purple" on a color you see alone).
When two colors are put next to each other, the human brain can suddenly distinguish much more subtle variations (each color would be considered as "brown" when seen alone, but next to each other, you can use thousands of different shade of brown and the eye will still see the difference).

That's also why radiologist are fond of high contrast / big depth screens : because all those difference in shades of grey *can* be distinguished and *are* revellent for the diagnosis when displaying X-Ray pictures.

Hoax! (5, Funny)

ynososiduts (1064782) | more than 6 years ago | (#20804467)

They could just be programmed to look as if they were falling for it! I smell conspiracy!

Re:Hoax! (1)

heyguy (981995) | more than 6 years ago | (#20804503)

That's what I was thinking. If they are trained to see as we do, and they do recognize that those are the same color, they weren't trained properly.

Re:Hoax! (2, Funny)

johnkzin (917611) | more than 6 years ago | (#20805625)


Or, maybe, they're faking it. So that we don't know how advanced they're getting, and wont see it coming when the robot revolution comes.

So, let me go on the record now, saying: I welcome our soon-to-be-evolving robot overlords!

or... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20804469)

maybe the pixel the robot sampled from each image wasn't identical?

How long until (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20804471)

Someone links one of these "Virtual Robots" to a picture of a red dwarf star, that actually points them to goatse's black hole? Now that's an illusion!

Go away spammer (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20804475)

spammer = Roland. do not visit his site

Tag this article 'dierolanddie' (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20804493)

Advertise your blog somewhere else, Roland, we don't want you here.

wow (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20804507)

i'm shocked and amazed.

Colors sure look different... (4, Interesting)

Gertlex (722812) | more than 6 years ago | (#20804509)

... but I went ahead and verified with a pixel color id program (ColorPix) that they are the same color.

Re:Colors sure look different... (1)

ILuvRamen (1026668) | more than 6 years ago | (#20804865)

I was hoping someone would mention that. If it used a true digital camera that literally takes a plain, unedited picture over and over at a given rate to "see" then it wouldn't be fooled. If it used the technology used in a standard handheld comsumer camera, it would be fooled because the way those interpret color is completely different. It's sort of contextual so if a lot of blue is around green, it looks bluish and if a lot of red is around it, it looks reddish. My guess is they were using a digital camera because it's cheaper and easier with less for them to build.

Re:Colors sure look different... (1)

VeteranNoob (1160115) | more than 6 years ago | (#20805681)

Yeah, they have no need to pull a "fast one."

Anyway, using the hover-over mask feature of the linked demo would have been much easier, not to mention more fun and dramatic. :P

Re:Colors sure look different... (4, Interesting)

nmb3000 (741169) | more than 6 years ago | (#20805737)

but I went ahead and verified with a pixel color id program (ColorPix) that they are the same color

Indeed they are, but for me at least, this illusion didn't seem as "abrupt" as others do when it's shown that the perception is false. One that always stands out to me is this one (many have probably seen it):

Without thinking too much, look at the colors of the A and B squares [imageshack.us] in this well-known image.
Now, here's an animation I just made showing the truth [imageshack.us] . That's a solid, unchanging color going from A to B.

I think this a much more drastic difference than the one in TFS, but of course YMMV :)

Re:Colors sure look different... (1)

UbuntuDupe (970646) | more than 6 years ago | (#20806479)

What I've always admired about that particular illusion is that, even though you think e.g. "it's the shadow that's making them look different!", you can keep deleting things from the image that you think are causing the illusion, all the way down to the point where only those two squares are left, and they will still look different the whole time.

Maybe make an animation demonstrating that? ;-)

We are one step closer... (5, Funny)

Digitus1337 (671442) | more than 6 years ago | (#20804513)

to being able to upset them with goatse. Maybe that is what starts the robot uprising...

You're out of touch (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20804597)

Goatse is old hat. It's all about 2 Girls 1 Cup these days.

Re:You're out of touch (0, Offtopic)

PitaBred (632671) | more than 6 years ago | (#20806061)

Link?

Model of Reality (4, Insightful)

SpectreBlofeld (886224) | more than 6 years ago | (#20804537)

From TFA: "The virtual robots in this study were driven solely by the statistics of their training history and used these statistics as the basis of their correct and subsequent incorrect decisions. Similarly, we believe the human brain generates perceptions of the world in the same way, by encoding the statistical relationships between images and scenes in our past visual experience and uses this as the basis for behaving usefully and consistently towards the sources of visual images." So the robot vision was created as a model of human vision, and it succeeded at doing so. That's sort of interesting, I suppose, but what does it tell us? That we were right about the way human vision works? Seems to me that the point here is really that in some ways, human vision is 'broken' and that maybe it isn't the best apparatus for machines to use. If we want to welcome our robotic overlords, we should be improving on the vision model, not trying to give machines the same flawed framework.

Re:Model of Reality (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20805113)

our vision isnt flawed. its adapted to perform optimally under normal/typical circumstances. optical illusions arise under abnormal/atypical circumstances that rarely occur in everyday life.

Welcome? (5, Funny)

CriminalNerd (882826) | more than 6 years ago | (#20804553)

I'm not sure about you guys, but at the moment, I'm kind of doubtful in welcoming our new robotic overlords. I mean, I thought they were supposed to be superior to us and not be fool by petty illusions...

That is what you say now... (1)

denzacar (181829) | more than 6 years ago | (#20804601)

...But you'll want them be easily fooled when they start gathering us for the "Human Re-education Program".

And by "re-education" I mean slaving away in the underground mines.

And by "slaving away" I mean being dumped in the deep hole in the ground.

Re:Welcome? (5, Insightful)

Gonzoisme (1023685) | more than 6 years ago | (#20804643)

I think it is important to problem small weaknesses into our robots. You know, just in case.

Re:Welcome? (1)

Black Sabbath (118110) | more than 6 years ago | (#20805735)

OK, +1 Funny, I understand.
But, +1 Insightful ? Are you people really that scared of an autonomously intelligent being you have no control over? Look around you they're everywhere! (OK, we could plausibly argue over whether the beings around you currently qualify as intelligent, nevertheless I think you get my point)

Re:Welcome? (1)

Minwee (522556) | more than 6 years ago | (#20806229)

Definitely. That's why every time I design a Kill-bot, I make sure that it has a pre-programmed kill limit.

Re:Welcome? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20804645)

if they are created in our image, it's obvious that they would inherit all the flaws or "imperfections" that we have. you model them to be like humans and expect them to behave differently - not possible.

Its called white balance.... (2, Insightful)

AgNO3 (878843) | more than 6 years ago | (#20804583)

and your eyes do it to. Which is why even sodium vapor lights don't look as yellow as they really are by the human eye. Turn off the white balance on the robots and I bet you they will see them as the same color. Add the average inverse color as a background for each color and your eyes will see them totally different. IE blue behind the orange and orange behind the blue. really stupid test.

Re:Its called white balance.... (1)

ncy (1164535) | more than 6 years ago | (#20804621)

i agree. it's more accurate to say that the *algorithm*, used by this particular group of robots, to distinguish colors has some of the same faults that human eyes do.

Re:Its called white balance.... (1)

JackHoffman (1033824) | more than 6 years ago | (#20804765)

But you don't want them to see the same color, because in the computer vision application it is important to deduce the object color. You can't just measure the reflected light. The optical illusion shows that, in our attempt to find the object color, we "guess" the light color from the colors of the surrounding scene and compensate for it, and so do the robots with automatic white balance. We're still fooled by light sources which aren't approximately black body radiators and robots face the same problems if they use RGB sensors.

The popular checkerboard illusion where the square in the shadow of the cylinder and the square in the light have the same brightness doesn't show that there's something wrong with our vision, it shows that our visual system is context-sensitive, as it should be, because we rarely need to be able to measure illumination*objectcolor. We need to deduce the object color quickly and with good reliability. Not subconsciously removing the illumination from the equation would only get in the way of that.

Make them explode (5, Funny)

Bender Unit 22 (216955) | more than 6 years ago | (#20804605)

show them a Escher staircase.

Re:Make them explode (1)

arth1 (260657) | more than 6 years ago | (#20805917)

Good robotic overlords like the Daleks will never be stopped by a staircase, Escheresque or not - they simply demolish the building.

Demolish! Exterminate! Exterminate!

Now try this: (5, Interesting)

Wilson_6500 (896824) | more than 6 years ago | (#20804625)

Cross your eyes, line up the two squares so they're offset by a few millimeters, and then hit the mask. What I saw was that the squares retained their seeming discoloration--until I uncrossed my eyes.

Re:Now try this: (1)

SpectreBlofeld (886224) | more than 6 years ago | (#20804735)

I'm laughing at the prospect of thousands of Slashdotters around the globe leaning in close to their monitors and crossing their eyes.

Reminds me of this XKCD comic [xkcd.com] (new window)

Re:Now try this: (1)

Koyaanisqatsi (581196) | more than 6 years ago | (#20805229)

Actually, even if you hit the mask first, and only then cross your eyes, they still appear different. At least they did for me. Not sure what it means though.

Auto-white-balance strikes again! (2, Insightful)

careysb (566113) | more than 6 years ago | (#20804685)

This is why I turn my auto-white-balance off in my digital camera. If I need to adjust the color, I'll do it later in Photoshop. (Another reason to shoot in RAW mode.) -- Carey

Re:Auto-white-balance strikes again! (0, Offtopic)

SocialEngineer (673690) | more than 6 years ago | (#20804767)

Same here, basically. I set my white balance manually before the shot, though, so I get a close approximation in my previews (I shoot Raw + SHQ JPG).

Proves vison not so special (1)

RepCentral (1059932) | more than 6 years ago | (#20804697)

To me this is an important step.
It means that we might describe biological vision (ours and most animals) in an more efficient manner. You don't need millions of layered algorithms duplicating evolution. Instead, vision can be described much simpler. We can derive the optimal version of this type of vision and see what holds for biology. We can also try and develop robotics that emulates optimal biological methods and see how well it meshes with our existential experiences of reality. If it meshes well, then you have the foundation for levels of man/machine integration.

This doesn't imply overlords, just a very clean version of robotic humans that could help us take the next steps in our evolution. But, I'm sure that doomsday predictions and irrational fear will come along for the ride as well. Maybe we can explain and correct that as well.

this isn't news (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20804701)

who cares. you people are losers. i hope your happy sucking linux dick but just shut up and leave the tech world to the real techs instead of the hobby shop boys.

Cool... (1)

boomsticky (1161513) | more than 6 years ago | (#20804745)

Very cool article. But, now I'm curious how virtual robots will perceive if color blindness was applied...

Re:Cool... (1)

Captain Murdock (906610) | more than 6 years ago | (#20805739)

I have what's known as red/green color blindness and the optical allusion in the summary didn't work on me at all. Both of the squares look like what I perceive to be green.

The colors in the illusion look the same... (5, Funny)

Junta (36770) | more than 6 years ago | (#20804747)

But then again, being color blind makes a lot of things look the same that shouldn't be...

It's not because you are colour-blind (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20804975)

I'm not colour-blind (yes, I've done the tests, I'm sure) and the colours look the same to me too. Well maybe not identical, but pretty close, and the right-hand one certainly doesn't look orange to me like it's supposed to.

Re:It's not because you are colour-blind (1)

meowsqueak (599208) | more than 6 years ago | (#20806043)

The moment I saw the image - and before reading the text - I noticed that the right-side square looked to be a strange hue compared to the rest of the sphere. It stuck out to me because it looked out of place - more orange in it, amongst the bluer greens. When I visually compared it to the left side I saw why - it's the same colour as the central square on the left side! Note that this is how I *perceived* it initially. They didn't look different to me.

Maybe my past experience at seeing such illusions has trained my brain to pick these 'different but the same' ones properly?

Re:The colors in the illusion look the same... (2, Insightful)

pcgabe (712924) | more than 6 years ago | (#20805795)

I came here to post the exact same experience. I'm red-green colorblind; they look the same to me.

OT question, since you're also colorblind and I'm curious: does your girlfriend wear makeup? See, mine does.

WHO IS SHE WEARING IT FOR?

I wonder if... (2, Funny)

Zymergy (803632) | more than 6 years ago | (#20804771)

they are also susceptible to the illusion of "beer goggles"? ...Next thing you know, your personal robot's software has it waking up in bed with your new Dyson vacuum and a strange Toaster! [There must be a Bender joke in here somewhere] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bender_(Futurama) [wikipedia.org]

Re:I wonder if... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20805609)

Well I've woken up with the vacuum in the bed but never a toaster.....

Author of illusions fooled too :) (1)

hotfireball (948064) | more than 6 years ago | (#20804791)

Look at this one [lottolab.org] . If you see more clearly for "true similarity" on the red pipe (?), then you will notice slightly a bullshit. :)

Re:Author of illusions fooled too :) (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20805021)

then you will notice slightly a bullshit. :)

A new engrish catchphrase is born!

The humans and robots got it right (1)

johndoe42 (179131) | more than 6 years ago | (#20804797)

Take a look at http://www.lottolab.org/Visual%20Demos/Demo%204.html [lottolab.org]

The site says the surfaces are "physically identical." I call BS. They are identical only in the sense that they have (assuming this is a faithful rendering of something) the same irradiance per unit solid angle hitting the viewer's eye. They are, in fact, physically different surfaces -- look at the top left corner of each piece, which are facing roughly the same directions and so are similarly lit. The top face is dark and lit more brightly, and the bottom face is light and lit dimly, and a robot that observes notices this (like humans do) is pretty impressive.

Demo 15 (the one in the article) is a bit more legitimate, but it's hard to tell whether the left disc is redder or is just lit with red light.

This is not illusion per se (1)

iamacat (583406) | more than 6 years ago | (#20804813)

Since we are not born with flashlights glued to our heads (although in Soviet Russia one can be obtained by getting into a fistfight), we must compensate for the tone of ambient lighting. This correction that we easily do in our heads but must be applied manually on digital cameras in fact allows us to determine true color of the objects more accurately in natural settings. Therefore I wouldn't call this an optical illusion any more than the fact that our eyes become more sensitive at night.

what the heck ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20804817)

... is a virtual robot? just some software? then say so.

no, i haven't read the article.

Can someone explain what this teaches us? (2, Interesting)

gozu (541069) | more than 6 years ago | (#20804889)

I'm struggling to find the utility of the study. So, if we learned to see differently, we could see the world in a way different enough to not be fooled by certain optical illusions, and probably be fooled by others?

Assuming it is possible to change the way a human sees without breaking the brain. A popular theory on evolution is that we evolved our brains to better analyze visual data coming in. We're not deceived as easily by certain camouflages animals use. Stripes, dots, color, etc.

Confirms what we thought about the way we learn to see, perhaps? That'd make sense.

Re:Can someone explain what this teaches us? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20805031)

i'm struggling to find the usefulness of your existance. you sit here and bitch instead of doing anything productive. you're as useful as a sack of dog crap.

Re:Can someone explain what this teaches us? (4, Insightful)

David_Shultz (750615) | more than 6 years ago | (#20806221)

I'm struggling to find the utility of the study. So, if we learned to see differently, we could see the world in a way different enough to not be fooled by certain optical illusions, and probably be fooled by others?

The program wasn't designed to detect optical illusions -it was a by-product of the training the system went through. The fact that it was tricked by a similar illusion without being programmed to do so might be taken as suggestive that our learning mechanisms are similar to the ones used by the program. From TFA:

The virtual robots in this study were driven solely by the statistics of their training history and used these statistics as the basis of their correct and subsequent incorrect decisions. Similarly, we believe the human brain generates perceptions of the world in the same way, by encoding the statistical relationships between images and scenes in our past visual experience and uses this as the basis for behaving usefully and consistently towards the sources of visual images

Magic eye (1)

Th3Tron (1161539) | more than 6 years ago | (#20804993)

Do you think these robots can be programmed to see the little dolphins swimming into the sunset of a Magic Eye book?

For Red/Green colourblind people (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20805495)

Did the left hand square appear orange to you, and the right side green?

Looked the same.. (1)

Junta (36770) | more than 6 years ago | (#20806119)

Whatever it was. I've pretty much thrown up my hands at trying to say something 'looks' green or orange or anything if it is in the realm I can't discern, because I recognize I simply have no comparative base to describe what something looks like to me in order to match a normal color vision person's perception.

However, I do feel confident that it's accurately characterized in my case as a dramatic insensitivity to red, so it is a decent bet that to me that everything looks less red (i.e. brown looks green is my logical guess, but no way of knowing I map green to the same thing other people map green to, etc.)

I don't see the illusion (1)

SashaM (520334) | more than 6 years ago | (#20805585)

I'm normally affected by optical illusions just like everyone, but I don't see it here - the center squares of both discs appear equally light green to me. Any ideas? I don't think I'm colorblind...

Re:I don't see the illusion (1)

fast turtle (1118037) | more than 6 years ago | (#20805865)

Probably for the same reason as me: Unbalanced color perception. I've been diagnosed with what is seen as a difference in color perception in each eye, which simply means one eye sees more of the blue spectrum while the other sees more of the red spectrum with overlap only in the middle ranges. In other words one eye sees brighter blues while the other eye sees deeper reds.

Re:I don't see the illusion (1)

SashaM (520334) | more than 6 years ago | (#20805937)

But I don't see the illusion even with either one (and, obviously, with both ;-)) of my eyes closed.

Researchers said..... (1)

kbox (980541) | more than 6 years ago | (#20805623)

....."It was amazing, They done exactly what we programed them to do. Next we are going to program one to *not* be fooled by optical illusions and see what happens! I can't wait!"

Smarter than human (1)

VeteranNoob (1160115) | more than 6 years ago | (#20805631)

As a designer of SCADA and control systems, I like to tell people that "if you can see it or do it, then I can measure and control it."

Of course, that's not entirely correct. The concept of building machines or robots that exceed our capabilities is something that interests me. It reminds me of this previous article [slashdot.org] , and I wonder what kinds of things future machines will be able to "sense" and "do" if they themselves are built from machines with enhanced capabilities.

For now, though, it's nice to know that they are inherently limited to our own capabilities as humans.

Re:Smarter than human (1)

guruevi (827432) | more than 6 years ago | (#20806125)

I doubt we ourselves can make things that match or exceed our own capacity because then we would need to fully comprehend our own capacities which currently, we are far away from that (I work with brain research btw) AND replicate them in a correct matter.

Now say we DO hypothetically develop something (like this vision stuff) that exceeds our own capabilities then in the very early beginnings of research and testing of it we would look at the output it creates, see extra data that isn't there from our viewpoint and discard it or 'correct' it as it were an error.

You have to remember, humans inherintly think that everything that doesn't match a certain box or outline is wrong and should be destroyed, corrected and/or discarded in our goal for the ultimate perfection. This not only goes for science but also for other matters like society (racism is an example), religion (accept my god or die) and philosophies (the mass is always correct).

red green color blind (1)

underworld (135618) | more than 6 years ago | (#20805915)

apparently no one thought of making red-green color blind robots; as a somewhat red-green color blind human, those greens still look the same to me ... go figure.

in all seriousness... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20806041)

don't they look rather... shapely?
or maybe thats from watching too much porn...

What about Real Robots? (1)

HexaByte (817350) | more than 6 years ago | (#20806253)

If Virtual Robots are fooled by Visual Illusions, what does that tell us about real robots?

In the virtual world I created, Smorgons are 6 meters tall, shoot acid out of their noses, and have been known to breed 10 offspring in a month.

In the real work, however Smorgons don't exist, so therefore I must conclude that virtual tells us nothing about actual.

A genuine problem for robotics engineers. (1)

robbo (4388) | more than 6 years ago | (#20806695)

Ok, so what if your robot is fooled by some obscure optical illusions-- other 'illusions' (or for lack of a better term, optical phenomena) are far more problematic- consider the problem of recognizing that you're looking at a mirror and not just a big room. Or the problem of 'seeing' the subtle reflections cast by a transparent medium like a window, in order to recognize the presence of an obstacle. Speaking as someone who's done a fair amount of work on autonomous robot exploration, these are big unsolved problems for robots equipped with off-the-shelf cameras.
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