This has been posted to death in the last couple of days, but the image above is of “Why Knot?” — a machine that can tie a necktie in 562 steps. So, why is this interesting? Because it addresses a problem not easily solved by machines. Tying a necktie is simple for humans, but complex for machines. Why?
I imagine it has something to do with the multiple angles and planes of activity that have to be operated on to tie a necktie. Humans can do this without thinking twice about it because we’re much more dextrous than this machine could ever be.
Additionally, humans are tying the tie on themselves, though I’m not sure if this counts as a pure advantage. But think about it — how well could you tie a tie that wasn’t hanging around your own neck? I’m guessing it wouldn’t be easy.
I watched the video on CNN and it’s just excrutiating watching this thing labor through something we find so simple. That’s why I’m intrigued by it — it’s a problem that’s easy for humans, but diffcult for machines, and that difficulty doesn’t stem from lack of processing power.