Computers learn art appreciation

Nov 05, 2007

A new program developed in the Department of Computer Sciences at the University of Haifa enables computers to "know" if an artwork is a Leonardo da Vinci original or the work of a less well-known artist. Using computer vision the computer is able identify the artworks of different artists after turning the works into a series of mathematical symbols, sines and cosines.

A new mathematical program developed in the Department of Computer Sciences at the University of Haifa will enable computers to "know" if the artwork you are looking at is a Leonardo da Vinci original, as the seller claims, or by another less well known artist. "The field of computer vision is very complex and multifaceted. We hope that our new development is another step forward in this field," said Prof. Daniel Keren who developed the program.

Through this innovation, the researchers "taught" the computer to identify the artworks of different artists. The computer learned to identify the artists after the program turned the drawings of nature, people, flowers and other scenes to a series of mathematical symbols, sines and cosines. After the computer "learns" some of the works of each artist, the program enables the computer to master the individual style of each artist and to identify the artist when looking at other works – works the computer has never seen.

According to Prof. Keren, the program can identify the works of a specific artist even if they depict different scenes. "As soon as the computer learns to recognize the clock drawings of Dali, it will recognize his other paintings, even without clocks. As soon as the computer learns to recognize the swirls of Van Gogh, it will recognize them in pictures it has never seen before."

This new development is a step forward in the field of computer vision. According to Prof. Keren, this field is still inferior to human vision. "Human vision has undergone evolution of millions of years and our field is only 30 years old. At this stage computers still have difficulty doing things that are very simple for people, for example, recognizing a picture of a human face. A computer has difficulty identifying when a picture is of a human face or how many faces are in a picture. However, computers are very good at simulating and sketching 3 dimensional images like the arteries in the brain or a road network."

At present, the new program can be helpful to someone who appreciates art, but not to a real expert in the field. If you are a novice who paid a hefty price for a picture that the seller claimed is an exact copy of a Da Vinci, the program can tell you if you wasted your money or made a smart purchase.

Source: University of Haifa

Explore further: Google's Street View address reading software also able to decipher CAPTCHAs

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

US secretly created 'Cuban Twitter' to stir unrest

Apr 03, 2014

In July 2010, Joe McSpedon, a U.S. government official, flew to Barcelona to put the final touches on a secret plan to build a social media project aimed at undermining Cuba's communist government.

New video games aim to be deeper than first-person shooters

Feb 17, 2014

Miguel Oliveira is developing a video game in a tiny apartment near the University of Southern California, worlds away from the high-tech studios of Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo. He works on a laptop surrounded by folding ...

How to build your own cryptocurrency

Feb 04, 2014

While cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin are relatively new, there are still opportunities for new players to enter the scene and make good money. You may have seen the launch of Nyancoin, based upon the catchy cat meme, ea ...

Recommended for you

Ant colonies help evacuees in disaster zones

Apr 16, 2014

An escape route mapping system based on the behavior of ant colonies could give evacuees a better chance of reaching safe harbor after a natural disaster or terrorist attack by building a map of showing the shortest routes ...

User comments : 0

More news stories

Hackathon team's GoogolPlex gives Siri extra powers

(Phys.org) —Four freshmen at the University of Pennsylvania have taken Apple's personal assistant Siri to behave as a graduate-level executive assistant which, when asked, is capable of adjusting the temperature ...

Better thermal-imaging lens from waste sulfur

Sulfur left over from refining fossil fuels can be transformed into cheap, lightweight, plastic lenses for infrared devices, including night-vision goggles, a University of Arizona-led international team ...

Deadly human pathogen Cryptococcus fully sequenced

Within each strand of DNA lies the blueprint for building an organism, along with the keys to its evolution and survival. These genetic instructions can give valuable insight into why pathogens like Cryptococcus ne ...