Can I fool you?

The top row images are all computer-generated, paired here with their photographic matches below. Credit: Olivia Holmes et al./ACM Transactions on Applied Perception

Just a week ago I published a post challenging you to spot paintings painted by a computer among paintings painted by humans. I do not know how good you were in distinguishing one from the other.

Now there is a new challenge, that in a way should be easier, but it is not (at least it was not for me).

If there is something we are good at is recognising human beings and particularly their faces. Here you see photographs of people faces and some of them are fake. They have been generated by a computer.  Can you tell one from the other?

The fact that it is so difficult to do that, at least it is for me, is a testimony of the sophistication that computers are capable of today.

This is really making the division between atoms and bits fuzzy and it is getting fuzzier by the day.

On the one hand we may be pleased of our achievements, in the end computers are what we can manage to instruct them. On the other hand this is creating unexpected problem. We can be fooled by them, more and more. As we are approaching the point when the Turing test will be passed (there was a claim in 2014 that one computer did pass the test but it was confuted, anyhow we are really close) we are facing the problem of losing control on which is which. 
A new branch of science/technology is looking at robots that work along with people (not for people), more advanced studies look at symbioses between man and machines and even more advanced look at transhumanism. The boundaries are getting fuzzier and we will probably transition from one space into aother without even noting it. At the same time we will have to confront with new challenges we are not really prepared for.

Author - Roberto Saracco

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