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AI Science

Is Time Moving Forward Or Backward? Computers Learn To Spot the Difference 78

sciencehabit (1205606) writes For the first time, scientists have taught computers to figure out the direction of time in videos, a result that could help researchers better understand our own perception of time. Regardless of any possible applications, "we just thought it was a great problem," says one of the study's authors. Teaching computers to see the arrow of time combines computer science, physics, and human perception to get at the heart of the question, "How do we understand the visual world?" The researchers "broke down 180 YouTube videos into square patches of a few hundred pixels, which they further divided into four-by-four grids. Combining standard techniques for discovering objects in still photographs with motion detection algorithms, the researchers identified 4000 typical patterns of motion, or 'flow words,' across a grid’s 16 cells. ... When they tested their program on the remaining 60 videos, the trained computers could correctly determine whether a video ran forward or backward 80% of the time."
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Is Time Moving Forward Or Backward? Computers Learn To Spot the Difference

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  • time or not (Score:4, Insightful)

    by buswolley ( 591500 ) on Thursday June 26, 2014 @03:36PM (#47327319) Journal

    This means nothing. It is not detecting time per se. It is detecting things violations like objects don't fall up, or other such experienced pattern that is the result of time.

  • Re:Sooo.... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Dishevel ( 1105119 ) on Thursday June 26, 2014 @04:39PM (#47327859)

    This saves us from the terrorists how?

    Is that the only measure of success?

    Not. It is not the only measure. We also measure success by thinking of the children. Any other questions?

  • Re:Easy (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Dcnjoe60 ( 682885 ) on Thursday June 26, 2014 @06:10PM (#47328619)

    But the point is not to tell if sound is moving forward or backwards.

    The point is to detect if a video (possibly even without sound) is moving forward or backwards.

    But you could easily mess up this program by showing it a video of Michael Jackson doing the Moonwalk.

    However, whether detecting if sound or video is moving backwards or not has nothing to do with detecting if time is moving backwards or not. Playing a file backwards still occurs with time moving forwards.

The unfacts, did we have them, are too imprecisely few to warrant our certitude.