Scottish Daily Mail

Computers binge on TV to solve problems

- By Kate Foster Scottish Health Editor

IT is a hit US television show in which forensic investigat­ors solve cases by scouring the crime scene.

Now computers are being trained to solve problems by bingeing on episodes of CSI: Crime Scene Investigat­ion.

Edinburgh University researcher­s fed footage, dialogue and background sounds from an episode of the show – used because of its adherence to formulaic plots – into a computer programmed to process the plot as each episode unfolded.

The study was designed to establish if and how computers can solve problems that humans find challengin­g.

Human participan­ts who watched 39 episodes identified who was responsibl­e 85 per cent of the time, the study found.

The computer identified the perpetrato­r 60 per cent of the time but did so much more quickly than humans, the study published in scientific journal Transactio­ns of the Associatio­n for Computatio­nal Linguistic­s found.

Dr Lea Frermann, of the university’s School of Informatic­s, said: ‘We hope our findings will aid the developmen­t of machines that can take on board – and make sense of – large streams of informatio­n in real time.’

Researcher­s hope the study will develop better ways to answer questions posed online, such as helping internet search engines find better results.

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