A new visual recognition program developed at MIT uses a process of elimination to identify objects much more efficiently than the matching techniques used by existing software. Line by line, piece by piece, it identifies commonalities between everyday objects, resulting in line drawings that resemble an artist's sketch.
Unlike other object-recognition programs, it doesn't need to be trained to look for specific features -- say, eyes, a nose and a mouth. Rather, it starts with small lines, searching for basic visual cues shared by multiple examples of the same object. Then it looks for combinations of those features shared by multiple examples, and then combinations of those combinations, and so on.