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Bunny doodles might soon be recognized by search engines

Posted by admin on Sep 22, 2012 in geekery, news, technology

Apps such as DrawSomething are turning everyday people into miniature Picasso’s, ┬ábut for every well defined line drawing you’ll get some confusing blobs that bear as much resemblance to a sailboat as they do a Rorschach inkblot test. It would be pretty handy if you could somehow take those random shapes and identify what they were actually meant to represent, and this could have more ramifications than just allowing you to cheat your way to a high score.

Computer researchers from Brown University and the Technical University of Berlin have created a computer application that can recognize simple sketches of objects almost as well as humans, with a 56 percent success rate (humans have a 73% rate). This isn’t a first for computers- they can already recognize detailed sketches, such as those used in crime scene mockups, but this is new ground in terms of very simple drawings- such as those of the bunnies shown above. Here you have very few identifiers to go on, and the programme is still able to recognize key traits such as ear shape and whiskers to call the sketches a ‘bunny’. If this evolves, sketch based search applications might be more prevalent and could enable people with limited literacy to find information quickly, as well as aid children using search tools who can’t vocalize what they are looking for.

Some examples of what the sketch based search program recognizes.. and doesn’t.

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