Turing's Nose - Was That Scent Real Or Artificial?
How can you tell if a scent, or a smell, is the real deal, the actual odor - or some sort of artificially produced artifact? Is it possible to create a device that could fool the human nose? David Harel at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel has developed a kind of Turing test for artificial olfaction
Harel has developed a kind of Turing test for artificial olfaction that helps to explore the issues this problem raises.
Harel outlines the more complex process that is required to reproduce smells. It consists of three parts. The first he calls a “sniffer”—a device that transforms an input odor into a digital signature. The second is the “whiffer”—a device containing a range of fixed odors that can be mixed and released in carefully measured quantities and concentrations.
The third part of this system is perhaps the most important. This is the interface between the sniffer and whiffer. “[This] analyzes the signature coming from the sniffer and instructs the whiffer as to how it should mix its pallet odorants to produce an output odor that is perceived by a human to be as close as possible to the original input,” explains Harel.
...Harel’s idea is to ask a human to distinguish smells produced by the artificial olfactory machine from real ones.
The method is straightforward and cleverly designed to avoid any verbal characterizations. Harel says audio and video can give the tester a sense of immersion. So the method would involve a tester watching a video of the place where the smell had been gathered and then deciding whether the associated smell is real or artificial.
Science fiction fans have already seen uses for a bioelectronic nose. An electronic nose, or sniffer robot was featured in the 1985 movie Runaway, written and directed by Michael Crichton.
(Sniffer robot from the movie Runaway)
The mechanical hound from Ray Bradbury's 1953 novel Fahrenheit 451 was also able to detect scents by setting the "ticking combinations of the [hound's] olfactory system".
Don't forget the scent-organ from Aldous Huxley's 1932 novel Brave New World, which produced convincing, familiar smells:
The scent-organ was playing a delightfully refreshing Herbal Capriccio - rippling arpeggios of thyme and lavender, of rosemary, basil, myrtle, tarragon; a series of daring modulations through the spice keys into ambergris; and a slow return through sandalwood, camphor, cedar, and newmown hay...
(Read more about Huxley's scent-organ)
Regular Technovelgy readers are, as always, right on the cutting edge and are already familiar with the idea that an Odor 'Map' May Lead To Digitized Smells, which highlights some of Dr. Harel's previous work from 2008.
Via a really cool and well-written article at MIT's Technology Review.
Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 4/29/2016)
Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.
| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |
you like to contribute a story tip?
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add
Comment/Join discussion ( 0 )
Related News Stories -
Project Soli Radar Gesture Chip Now FCC Approved
'He waved his hand and the circuit switched abruptly.' - Philip K. Dick, 1955.
Implosion Fabrication Shrinks 3D Objects To Nanoscale
'Carter had watched miniaturization a hundred times...' - Isaac Asimov, 1965.
ODYSSEUS Solar-Powered Stratospheric Plane Flies Forever
'The planes flew continuously, twenty-four hours a day...' - EB White, 1950.
Phil Nuyttnn's City Under The Sea
''Under the lower roof there was no water, but a clear and luminous atmosphere...' - Andre Laurie, 1895.
Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!)
is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for
the Invention Category that interests
you, the Glossary, the Invention
Timeline, or see what's New.
Unfurl The Future! Huawei Mate X versus Galaxy Fold
'A paper thin polycarbon screen unfurled silently from the top of the unit and immediately grew rigid.'
Amazon Echo And Google Home Should Have Morality Software
'The Dwoskin Morality Rating-Computer could 'spot the slightest tendency to deviation' from the social norm...'
China Building Robot Wives
'Want a life-companion, a pleasant one?'
China Social Credit System Like State-Run Whuffie
'At least there was no mandatory Whuffie check on the monorail platform...'
Project Soli Radar Gesture Chip Now FCC Approved
'He waved his hand and the circuit switched abruptly.'
Stan, Robot Valet, Will Drag Your Car Away
'He activated the grapple tracks. '
Jibo Home Robot Says Goodbye, Is Killswitched
'It resembles an oyster....'
Johns Hopkins Says Asteroid Deflection Will Be Difficult
'This obelisk is one huge deflector mechanism...'
Fabric Automatically Cools Or Insulates Based On Environment
'...a high-efficiency filter and heat-exchange system.'
Deepfakes From OpenAI GPT-2 Algorithm
'How can you compete with an IBM heavy-duty logomatic analogue?'
John Deere Self-Driving Tractor
'The huge plow... seemed to shake itself - and began to move back southward.'
North Focals Smart Glasses Provide Augmented Reality In Style
'The world ... is drenched in unfamiliar information all the way to the horizon.'
Tesla Driver Caught Napping Behind The Wheel
'Mary Risling settled back for a little nap...'
Hayabusa 2 To Begin Asteroid Mining
'We must dig down, and then doubtless we shall find the metal.'
Ionocraft Drone Powered By Electrohydrodynamic Thrust
'He saw one hiss by him as he rounded the corner, trailing a short whip antenna...'
Purdue Pharma Ready To Profit From OxyContin Use Or Addiction Recovery
'It may be organic damage. It may be permanent. Time'll tell, and only after you are off Substance D for a long while.'
More SF in the News Stories
More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories