Google Confuses Rifles with Helicopters, and Turtles as Rifles

Researchers from MIT have recently found a way to trick Google’s image search engines and identifiers into confusing a popular photograph on the internet of three M16s (and one M4) representing chronological development as a helicopter. Check out the article on Wired for a more detailed description of the methodology used in the study. Essentially what it boils down to is that the MIT researchers tweaked this original image by slowly superimposing another image of a helicopter onto it, pixel by pixel. To a casual observer, the difference is barely noticeable between the two. But to Google, one is classified as a rifle, while the other is classified as a “helicopter”.

A point must be made here in that the MIT researchers simply used firearms as an example of a technological flaw they were studying. The same results of confusion could be replicated with a wide variety of objects (for example,…


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