BROWN (US) — A new computer program can recognize rough sketches—of bunnies, teapots, donuts, and more—as they’re drawn in real time.
It’s the first computer application that enables “semantic understanding” of abstract sketches, researchers say. The advance could clear the way for vastly improved sketch-based interface and search applications.
The research behind the program was presented last month at SIGGRAPH, the world’s premier computer graphics conference. The paper is now available online, together with a video, a library of sample sketches, and other materials.
Computers are already pretty good at matching sketches to objects as long as the sketches are accurate representations. For example, applications have been developed that can match police sketches to actual faces in mug shots.
But iconic or abstract sketches—the kind that most people are able to easily produce—are another matter entirely.