Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Mark Changizi Wants to Harvest Your Eyes for Science

Okay, that was worded a little strongly. Still, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute's assistant professor of cognitive science has spent a lot of time thinking about how you look at things.

First, he looked into the way that we're actually seeing the future, based on the way that we have to anticipate things like catching objects or getting out of the way of danger. Our eyes compensate for slight neural delays, allowing us to see what is happening in the present even while the speed of light is showing us things that happened in the (very recent) past.

Now he is trying to use these properties to make human eyes into a type of computer that glances at complex visual stimuli and generates perceptions that have resolved computations. His hopes to use "visual circuits" as a rival to DNA computations seem a little ambitious, though. "The visual logic gates do not always transmit the appropriate perception at the output."

Whatever. Just as long as life doesn't turn into some horror movie where evil robots start using body parts to run their advanced human-killing algorithms.

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The header image is adapted from a photo taken by Bill McChesney and used under a creative commons license.
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