AI Surpasses Human Nose in Odor Identification: New System Beats Humans at Identifying Scents

AI Surpasses Human Nose in Odor Identification New System Beats Humans at Identifying Scents

In a major tech win, a computer system has shown it can identify smells even better than we can. Imagine a machine analyzing 500,000 different scents that haven’t even been made yet, doing a job that would take us 70 years!

Why Machines Struggled with Smells Before

We’ve seen machines that can “see” and “taste” almost like us, but “smelling” was always a tough nut to crack. Think about it: our noses use 400 different sensors to catch smells, while our eyes use only four types to see everything around us.

The Big Breakthrough in Smelling Tech

The brainiacs at the University of Pennsylvania’s Monell Chemical Senses Center teamed up with folks from Osmo (related to Google DeepMind). Together, they built a computer system that can take a whiff of a smell and then tell us, what it should smell like. They’ve named this system the Principal Odor Map (POM).

Unlocking the Secrets of Smell

Dr. Joel Mainland from Monell, one of the lead researchers, shared that if computers can figure out why certain things smell the way they do based on their makeup, it can change how we understand our own noses and brains.

What This Means for Us

This isn’t just tech talk. This discovery can help make better bug sprays or even better-smelling products for our homes.

How They Taught the Computer to Smell

The team trained the computer using the structures of 5,000 known smells and words like “minty” to describe them. They even had 15 people smell 400 things and describe them to help the computer learn.

The Computer’s Report Card

When tested, this computer system did a tad better than humans. What’s wild is that it could even do some smell tasks it wasn’t specifically taught!

Mapping Out the World of Smells

The team used this tech to identify 500,000 smells that haven’t even been made yet. For a human, that’s like 70 years of non-stop sniffing!

A Big Step for Science

This research is a big deal. It’s like creating a map based on real-world smells. Scientists believe this new “smell map” will be a game-changer in understanding how we sense different odors.

To wrap it up, this research is a huge leap in tech and science. It shows that computers aren’t just about numbers; they can even help us understand something as personal and complex as our sense of smell.

The study was recently featured in the journal, Science.
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Also read : Ameca, the ‘World’s Most Advanced Humanoid Robot’, reveals what life will look like in 100 years

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