"Teaching a computer to perceive the world without human input"

09/23/2013 - 00:00

By Marlene Cimons -

Humans can see an object—a chair, for example—and understand what they are seeing, even when something about it changes, such as its position. A computer, on the other hand, can't do that. It can learn to recognize a chair, but can't necessarily identify a different chair, or even the same chair if its angle changes.

"If I show a kid a chair, he will know it's a chair, and if I show him a different chair, he can still figure out that it's a chair," says Ming-Hsuan Yang, an assistant professor of electrical engineering and computer science at the University of California, Merced.