Monday, January 01, 2007

The puzzles of Keros

Now here is a puzzle for any mathematician who reads this:
Statues offer clues to Greek isle's past
By NICHOLAS PAPHITIS, Associated Press Writer
Sun Dec 31, 4:19 AM ET

ATHENS, Greece - Unlike its larger, postcard-perfect neighbors in the Aegean Sea, Keros is a tiny rocky dump inhabited by a single goatherd. But the barren islet was of major importance to the mysterious Cycladic people, a sophisticated pre-Greek civilization with no written language that flourished 4,500 years ago and produced strikingly modern-looking artwork.
...Keros is a repository of art from the seafaring culture whose flat-faced marble statues inspired the work of 20th century masters Pablo Picasso and Henry Moore.
When they were unearthed, the white marble shards were jumbled close together like a pile of bleached bones, an elbow here, a leg there, occasionally a head. (emphasis added)
So, here's the challange, is there a program that solves a puzzle like this? That is, one that takes a jumbled mess of fragments and reconstructs entities? I would assume that there are puzzle solving programs just as I am sure that the topologists are all over this like chicken pox (ah, something I do know something about).

Oops, now that wrote all the above I see that Felix Grant has allready talked about the problem in his article on pattern recognition.

And, while I'm at it, let me throw out this quote from Dr. Grant's article:
..... a robot need only perform onboard perception and cognition where speed of response requires it – roughly the equivalent of instinctive functions in a biological organism.
It is my opinion, and I plan to spend a lot more time on this, that all functions of a biological organism are "instinctive." Actually, I would put the word "reflexive" there.

Furthermore, I contend that this includes all of the so called "higher" functions of humans up to and including Free Will. Take that you intelligent designers.

(Oh, and by the way, pattern recognition will be the death knell of radiologists.)

(And, of course, read Dr. Grant's article, it is very interesting in separating out the physical locale of knowledge. More on this and medicine later.)

1 comment:

Sammy'sDot said...

After a few days mulling this one over, I've posted a long and meandering response too big for a comment box here:

I've probably set myself up for a laughing stock, but hey ... what's new? [grin]