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These psychedelic stickers blow AI minds via Techcrunch

9 January 2018

Machine learning systems are very capable, but they aren’t exactly smart. They lack common sense. Taking advantage of that fact, researchers have created a wonderful attack on image recognition systems that uses specially printed stickers that are so interesting to the AI that it completely fails to see anything else. Why do I get the feeling these may soon be popular accessories?

Computer vision is an incredibly complex problem, and it’s only by cognitive shortcuts that even humans can see properly — so it shouldn’t be surprising that computers need to do the same thing.

One of the shortcuts these systems take is not assigning every pixel the same importance. Say there’s a picture of a house with a bit of sky behind it and a little grass in front. A few basic rules make it clear to the computer that this is not a picture “of” the sky or the grass, despite their presence. So it considers those background and spends more cycles analyzing the shape in the middle.

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