A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
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 -
Poisoning Big Tech's Data Well
Bring on the Civic Notification Distorter.
Sci-Fi Organic Technology
'This latter is a sharp -whoof- almost a thunderclap...' - Gary Shockley, 1984.
Nuclear Batteries May Pack Inner Punch
'... the most super-valuable substance in the solar system.' - Edmond Hamilton, 1940.
Listen Up, Coppertop - Wearable Device Turns You Into A Battery
'It's our way or the highway.'
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.
Autonomous Russian Greenhouse For ISS Wheat
'We saw the gardens, flooded with artificial sunlight, planted with everything imaginable, that supplied the necessary food.'
NASA MOXIE Extracts Oxygen From Mars' Air
'Making oxygen is the trick...'
Implantable Covid-Detecting Microchip Developed By DARPA
'Employees... were implanted with advanced microprocessors...'
SpaceX Requests Starlink For Starship
'... sweating, heat-blistered engineers at every interplanetary radiograph station on three planets.'
SF Writers Predicted John Deere Autonomous Tractors
'The huge plow... seemed to shake itself - and began to move back southward.'
DARPA Funding AI Fighter Pilots
'Cultured brains on a slab.'
StoryFile To Help William Shatner Become Landru
"I am Landru. I am he! All that he was, I am."
Telehealth Drones To The Rescue
'A shadow passed over him, and he looked up.'
Capture Asteroids In A Bag
'... just as a small boy catches a swift ball in his cap.'
Sony Pocket Air Conditioner Is Phil Dick's Idea!
'... he went to the hall closet to get his pith helmet and his mandatory cooling-unit.'
Is It Possible To GROW Planes And Vehicles?
'These are your rudimentary seed packages...'
Guard Dog Robot Security Check
'We still use people at the main gates, but here it's an automated sentry.'
Sheepskin Parchment Helped Medieval Lawyers Prevent Fraud
'The single sheet he held, and even the words and signatures upon it, were all integral parts of a single giant molecule...'
Space 'Hurricane' Has Been Seen
'... it was the biggest of the four hundred odd storms raging in the Fifty Suns region.'
PR2 Fencing Robot Perfect For Kwisatz Haderach-in-training
'Now, we'll work on your timing. Let me see you catch that thing sinister.'
Sole Morphing Astronaut Boots - A New Pair Of Moon Boots?
'It’s an ideal device for kangarooing along in lunar gravity.'
More SF in the News Stories
More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories