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Dogs get computers

Pavlov's broadband
Fri Nov 30 2007, 08:16

BOFFINS have been training four dogs to use computers.

The four pooches have been using touch-screen computers to classify colour photographs for a study of animal cognition, the University of Vienna, Austria.

According to the journal Animal Cognition, which we get for the spot the brain cell competion, using touch-screen computers with dogs opens up a whole world of possibilities.

Until now, methods relied on the dog's owner or an experimenter to tell the animal what to do. This buggers up any chance of giving an unbiased result.

Boffin, Friederike Range used computers to test whether dogs can visually categorise pictures, and transfer their knowledge to new situations.

They were shown a landscape and dog pictures and expected to make a selection on a computer touch-screen.

If they managed to match the landscape with the snap of the nice looking poodle they got food.

Apparently the results indicate that dogs could form a concept of a "dog". This therefore means that they would not put a paw on Microsoft Vista and will not buy an iPhone.

More here. µ


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