The Operation of Humans vs. Computers Essay

The Operation of Humans vs. Computers Essay

Length: 1599 words (4.6 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Powerful Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

The comparison of how humans and computers operate is an integral part of research in Cognitive Psychology. This essay discusses how this comparison allows us to turn ways in which humans and computers are similar into the development of useful computational models. These enhance our understanding of human perception in more detailed and quantitative ways which traditional research would not allow. It contrasts this by describing ways in which humans and computers are different, highlighting how such models may have limited application, and must be kept in perspective. The field of visual perception is one which has made good use of computational models to advance its knowledge, and so is a logical exemplar.

One of the first instances of using a computational model to research visual perception was in response to the classic problem “how does the visual system ‘know’ that the varied appearance of a coloured surface is a property of the surface rather than its illumination?” (Gordon, 2004, p. 187). Both Land and McCann (1971) and Horn (1974) suggested that the key distinction is that the effect of a change in illumination is gradual, whereas changes that are because of an object’s edges are abrupt. To investigate, they recorded output differences from two adjacent detectors which sample lightness values. They found that the difference in output on a uniform surface with a change in illumination was small and insignificant, whereas when the detectors were on either side of a boundary between two surfaces of different lightness, there was a large difference in output. This suggests that our visual system uses a similar method to detect important changes in surfaces properties and distinguish them from transitory changes in illumin...


... middle of paper ...


...em such as vision, it is important not to oversimplify the idea to the point where a model is no longer representative of how the brain is working.



Works Cited

Dreyfus, H. L. (1972). What computers can’t do: A critique of artificial reason. New York: Harper & Row.
Gordon, I. E. (2004). Theories of visual perception (3rd ed.). Hove: Psychology Press.
Horn, B. K. (1974). Determining lightness from an image. Computer Graphics and Image Processing. 3, 277-299.
Land, E. H. & McCann, J. J. (1971). Lightness and retinex theory. Journal of the Optical Society of America, 61, 1-11.
Marr, D. (1982). Vision: A computational investigation into the human representation and processing of visual information. San Francisco, CA: W. H. Freeman.
Marr, D. & Hildreth, E. (1980) Theory of edge detection. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London, Series B, 207, 187-217.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

The Development of Personal Computers Essay

- The Development of Personal Computers The history of the computer goes back hundreds of years. From the abacus through the modern era the evolution of computers has involved many innovative individuals. It was out of this desire to innovate many fascinating tabulating machines developed. The modern computer, therefore, evolved from an amalgamation of the genius of many individuals over a long period of history. Many people shaped the world by making the efforts to develop technology. An early counting machine (and relative of the computer) can be traced back to 3000 BC....   [tags: Computers Technology Software Essays]

Free Essays
2482 words (7.1 pages)

Technology is Taking Over and Replacing Humans Essay

- The robots are taking over and planning to destroy humanity as it currently stands. They’re smarter, faster, and stronger making them superior to humans in every way. Because humans were too lazy and put all their faith in technology it was easy for the machines to rise up and take over. Soon all of humanity will be enslaved by robots and computers. This is the plot for thousands of science fiction movies and novels in which humans make computer, personal robots servants, and other technology that are so advanced and make life easier that in the end humankind has lost most of its intellect and physical abilities dooming the world to a fate that has inspired many armageddon theories....   [tags: computers, robots, calculators]

Powerful Essays
1041 words (3 pages)

Importance Of Early Computers Before And During Wwii Essays

- The Importance of Early Computers before and during WWII developed in the United States, Britain, Germany, and Australia Computers were important before WWII and predominantly during the war. First and foremost, it is important to note the difference in the definition of the computer before and after the war. Before 1935, a computer referred to someone who performed arithmetic calculations. Between 1935 and 1945 the definition referred to a machine, rather than a person. “Until at least the 1940s, the term ‘computer’ was used to designate people whose job was to perform calculations, usually with the help of a calculator or abacus....   [tags: Computer, ENIAC, John von Neumann]

Powerful Essays
1175 words (3.4 pages)

Essay about The Power of Computers and Technology

- The Power of Computers While I was sitting at my PC, I began looking for a song to download. All of the sudden, the screen went blank. I knew that I hadn't touched the power strip, so I was dumbfounded by its sudden halt. I used every key possible to try and revive my dying machine. I frantically decided to turn the power off, but, before I could, a small green cursor blinked on the screen. I tried to type but nothing worked. Not knowing what to do, I switched the power to off and was amazed that the blinking green cursor was still alive....   [tags: Exploratory Essays Research Papers]

Free Essays
1339 words (3.8 pages)

Essay about Humans And Their Ability To Make Mistakes

- Humans And Their Ability To Make Mistakes In today's pop culture, there is one very popular view of the future. All humans will be free to do as they wish, because robots and computers will work for us. Computers are viewed as the ideal slaves. They work non-stop, never complain, and above all, never make mistakes. It is often said that computers don't make mistakes, that it is the person using the computer who commits errors. What is it that makes humans err, but not computers. I will prove that it is simply the way humans are built that makes us commit errors....   [tags: essays research papers]

Powerful Essays
1368 words (3.9 pages)

The Generation Of Computers And Its Impact On People 's Business And Social Lives

- Prior to the 1940s, the term “computer” did not refer to the digital machines we know today, but rather instead to a person who computed information. Human computers performed computing operations by hand, which was time-consuming and prone to error. With the advent of computing technologies, humans were able to use machines to perform computations at a vastly greater rate and without error. From the 1940s to today, computers have evolved through several generations, and their meaning has changed to refer to electronic devices used to store and process data....   [tags: Computer, Integrated circuit, Computing]

Powerful Essays
1300 words (3.7 pages)

Essay about How Robots Can Work More Efficient Than Humans

- The future looks bright for robots, particularly surgical robots. Robots and machines have become a big part of our lives today. They exist in the computers we use, our phones, you can’t walk out the front door and not see the work of machines. There’s an old tall tale about a man, John Henry, who lost his life trying to out work a machine. It started out as a race to see who could tunnel the farthest into the side of a mountain in a set amount of time. John Henry ended up beating the machine, however he ended up working himself to death....   [tags: Surgery, Robotic surgery, Cholecystectomy]

Powerful Essays
1582 words (4.5 pages)

Quantum Computing: Breakthrough of the Future Essay

- Innovation is the breakthrough to the future. There is a enormous amount of information us humans do not know. How can we solve these unknown answers. The biggest solution is, quantum computing. This is how quantum computers work, how they are made, how a person can program a quantum computer, and how it will change our future as we know it. How a Quantum Computer Works: Old School vs. New School The first conventional computers that were introduced were these big towers of switches, transistors, and buttons....   [tags: Innovation, Technology, Computers]

Powerful Essays
1272 words (3.6 pages)

Office Equipment and Its Effectiveness to the Office Essay

- ... PERSONAL DIGITAL ASSITANTS Workers who are constantly in operation and have long agendas would normally need constant reminders of events to come. PDA’s are personal digital assistants. They are tightly integrated computers. They often do not carry keyboards instead they would use a touch screen for navigation. They allow workers to set plans, agendas, reminders, appointment and other functions. PDA’s are great for office workers because they can be kept on hand at all times. DESKTOP COMPUTER The desktop computer is the most widely used computer inside an office....   [tags: photocopiers, personal computers]

Powerful Essays
1949 words (5.6 pages)

Kevin Mitnick Essay

- Kevin Mitnick Hacking has been around since the birth of computers. When the term hacking was first used, its meaning was not that of how we think of it today. At the origins of computing, a hacker was considered to be just a "creative programmer (Baase, 2003)." Early forms of computer games as well as the beginnings of operating systems were discovered and created by these original hackers. These hackers plunged into systems as a way of an intellectual challenge and to aspire to gain knowledge (Baase, 2003)....   [tags: Hacker Hackers Hacking Computers Essays]

Free Essays
979 words (2.8 pages)