The Tricky Challenge of Making Machines That “See”

The following was originally published as “Real-World Machines” in the July/August 1968 issue of Technology Review. Our senior editor for AI, Will Knight, recently caught up with Minksy in a video interview that you can see here. A computer, a television camera, and a mechanical arm have now been combined into a system with enough artificial intelligence to recognize blocks of various sizes and shapes and to assemble them into structures without step-by-step instructions from an operator. The system can perceive the blocks visually, determining their size and their location on a table. It can stack them into a tower while accomplishing another goal, for example, of making the tower as high as possible with the given blocks. Or, it can be told to sort the blocks by size into…


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