The ability to write words on paper seems rather simple human skill, but actually it is extremely complicated. Just think — to learn to write, you need to understand at what point you have to dip the tip of a pen, how long and in what direction to drive the line and where to stop. Despite this diversity action, researchers from brown University have managed to teach writing to a robot, and now he can quickly pull on the chalkboard in different languages, and even copy a simple picture.
The author embedded in the robot of the algorithm is a student named Kotani Atsunobu. It was his work allowed the robot to understand what strokes and in what order you need to do to represent on the Board the different characters of the Japanese language. Created the training system consists of two models: “local”, where the algorithm monitors the current position of the pen, and “global”, where he is responsible for the transition to the next letter.
Robot and human skills
To check the efficiency of the algorithm, the researchers conducted a test — they wrote on the Board a Japanese word, and allowed the robot to copy it. The algorithm showed its best side and, even though he made mistakes in the order in which strokes are written, the characters were completely legible.
After a successful test in the Japanese language, the researchers tried to trick the algorithm on the blackboard the word “Hello” in ten languages including English, Greek, Hindi, Urdu, Chinese, and Yiddish. To their surprise, the robot with no problems even copied them, and in the case of English he was even able to portray cursive handwriting. The only problem is that the algorithm is not able to copy the Arabic, where the letter is from right to left.
After that, the researchers gave the robot an even more difficult assignment — they asked him to copy the handwriting of a six-year-old children. When he successfully completed this task, it became clear that he would be able to copy even pictures. Researchers are not lost — the robot really was able to draw a simple picture of the Mona Lisa.
A new study has erased another line between humans and robots. In 2018, the robots have learned to talk like men, and even book tables in the restaurant — I think in the near future they will master writing.
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