Brownian thought space

Cognitive science, mostly, but more a sometimes structured random walk about things.

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Location: Rochester, United States

Chronically curious モ..

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Elephant portrait

This is the preview slide of a painting made by an elehant (YouTube video below). I'm guessing this is going to change a whole lot of ideas in cognition and consciousness.

It's not clear of course how much of this is learnt through rote and how much is 'creative' (a bunch of painters helped the elephants get started).

Still, even if it's memory, it's pretty darn amazing! The video shows pretty clearly that the elephant has broken down the picture into subcomponents, and has at least learnt some sort of higher-level organization across the elements. Is this like the Matsuzawa chimp story with numbers? Or is it something more? Hard to tell. But impressive nevertheless!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Amazing. Three personal observations:
1. The tail was unduly long even though the rest of the body seems not out a plausible range. Is it just "bad" drawing skills?
2. A professional ("trained?") artist is one who starts from the perphery/off-center and develops the picture. Any amateur artist starts invariably from the center and moves up. By center, it may also mean some chief "focus" like to draw a portrait, the eyes first. The elephant starts with the far end of the trunk.
3. The elephant gives emphasis to those details which a human knows to be importantor what a child would generally show in one's paintings -it draws a ear, one eye, nose(trumpet), hands, body, and legs.

April 05, 2008 10:54 PM  
Blogger mohinish said...

Yeah. It's still not clear what kind of 'training' the elephant underwent. It could be that, trained by a human artist, the elephant was 'simply' (for a very large value of the notion of 'simplicity'!) trained to imitate certain configurations. So it might not even 'know' that it is a representation of an elephant. This is very unclear from what I read.

April 06, 2008 6:59 PM  

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