MIT’s ‘Galileo’ matches humans at predicting how things move

The human brain is able to quickly predict how objects will react in any given scene. When you drop a ball, for instance, you have some idea of how high it’ll bounce based on its materials, size and the surface it’s interacting with. Scientists are now trying to replicate this “intuitive physics engine” with technology and, in basic scenarios, are finding some success. Researchers at MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab (CSAIL) have developed “Galileo,” which uses a combination of videos, 3D physics modelling and deep-learning algorithms to predict simple experiments “with an accuracy comparable to human subjects.” For starters, the team educated its system with 150 videos depicting numerous objects made from cardboard, foam and other materials. These gave Galileo a small database of doodads and their physical…


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