2666 Shares

GS: How well can you define simple things? Can you define a "door" precisely enough for a computer?

GS: How well can you define simple things? Can you define a "door" precisely enough for a computer? Topic: What is case law definition
May 24, 2019 / By Kalisha
Question: In the landmark court decision Jacobellis v. Ohio, a US Supreme Court Justice was unable to effectively define obscenity, but argued that he "knew it when [he] saw it," so we could have laws against it anyway. I've had something of a personal run-in with the difficulty of precise definitions lately, as I find myself working with an engineering group that's trying to program a robot artificial intelligence that can successfully navigate unfamiliar environments. A major part of the pathing challenge is getting the thing to successfully recognize what a "door" is. It's brought to light that many of us actually DON'T recognize a door when we see one. We can recognize simple cases; a wooden, rectangular slab of wood with a doorknob sitting in a frame is obviously a door, for instance. But is a door still a door if it's obstructed? What if it's very deliberately obstructed, like if the frame has been filled in with bricks? What if it's irregularly shaped and sized, like a pet door? What if it doesn't work - if it's stuck? Suppose we blow a hole in the wall and shove a chunk of wood in it - should that be included in the definition? How do you get a computer to recognize all of these things with an image? How would you define a simple concept like a 'door' to a computer (assuming the computer can 'see,' or process images)? More importantly, should we have laws based on concepts that aren't legally defined, but left up to the interpretation of a judge or jury? Inspired by this question: http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index;... AyeHye - that's fascinating - maybe my little engineering crew here could use classical philosophy for inspiration :)
Best Answer

Best Answers: GS: How well can you define simple things? Can you define a "door" precisely enough for a computer?

Hadley Hadley | 8 days ago
What you've just asked is really one of the most major, and famous, debates that Aristotle and Plato had. Plato said that there was some "plane of existence" somewhere that had the perfect, ideal "door." And every door on the planet was just an imperfect reflection of that door. The more it differed, the less doorlike it became, until at some point it was unrecognizable as a door. Aristotle, on the other hand, said that "doors" don't really exist. Throughout the world, there are arches, there are planks of wood with knobs on them, there are boarded up entryways, there are holes in the wall for pets... and we simply use the word "door" when it serves a purpose and use a different word when it doesn't. I suppose Aristotle would argue that we *must* have laws on concepts that aren't precisely defined, because precise definition is impossible. Plato, on the other hand, might argue that there is grey area as something moves too far from its "ideal," but there is certainly black and white as well - material that definitely is obscenity, and definitely isn't.
👍 204 | 👎 8
Did you like the answer? GS: How well can you define simple things? Can you define a "door" precisely enough for a computer? Share with your friends

We found more questions related to the topic: What is case law definition


Hadley Originally Answered: How do you define queer?
Definitions of queer on the Web: * thwart: hinder or prevent (the efforts, plans, or desires) of; "What ultimately frustrated every challenger was Ruth's amazing September surge ... * curious: beyond or deviating from the usual or expected; "a curious hybrid accent"; "her speech has a funny twang"; "they have some funny ideas about war"; "had an odd name"; "the peculiar aromatic odor of cloves"; "something definitely queer about this town"; "what a rum fellow"; "singular ... * put in a dangerous, disadvantageous, or difficult position * *****: offensive terms for an openly homosexual man * gay: homosexual or arousing homosexual desires wordnet.princeton.edu/perl/webwn * The word queer has traditionally meant "strange" or "unusual," but currently it is also often used in reference to gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, and asexual communities. Its usage is controversial and underwent substantial changes over the course of the 20th century. ... en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Queer * Queer is the Thompson Twins' eighth album in the USA, and ninth overall. Released in September 1991. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Queer (album) * Queer is the title of an early short novel (written 1951-1953, published 1985) by William S. Burroughs. It is partially a sequel to his earlier novel, Junkie. That novel ends with the stated ambition of finding the ultimate ‘high’- a telepathic drug called Yage. ... en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Queer (novel) * "Queer" is a song released by Garbage which appears on their eponymous first album. It was written and recorded at Smart Studios during the 1994-1995 sessions for the debut album. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Queer (Garbage song) * Originally a synonym for "odd" or "unusual," the word evolved into an anti-gay insult and is sometimes still used in a derogatory manner. ... www.equity.qut.edu.au/issues/sexuality/d... * Once a derogatory term for homosexual, queer is now an accepted term for homosexuality in the homosexual community. www.sexoteric.com/dix/Q * Simply “odd†in this context. www.hollywoodjesus.com/comments/narnia_f... * different, odd "He's [Simon's] queer. He's funny." home.pacbell.net/p_ferg/LOTF/LOTFvocab.h...

Dlila Dlila
Seems to me that your 'rescue robot' will always be imperfectly programmed. That's why most such devices have a camera and a human being far enough away for safety looking at what the 'robot' encounters. So a 'door' cannot ever be precisely described and sometimes human beings don't know a door when they are looking at it. I see your analogy and comparison here but it is imperfect at best. I agree laws cannot be enacted based on instances that are not black and white but every day shades of grey are tried and convicted in a court of law. For example, there are so many degrees of murder, manslaughter, negligence, vehicular, etc. that each case must be presented before a judge and jury and decided on it's individual merits and a decision made. This is why the US legal system crawls at a snails pace but it is the best we can do. Your examples don't jive...and no, I haven't answered your 'question' but pointed out the weakness of your analogy.
👍 80 | 👎 -1

Carlin Carlin
If a computer can see the image of the door, it can identify the empty space in between the door and the wall. So basically, if there is a crack, then there is a way to get in. Because if a door cannot be opened, it cannot be called as a door.
👍 73 | 👎 -10

Andrina Andrina
There are actually too many "descriptions" one can use for "door" to make a robot understand. There is the rectangular slab of wood, with a handle on it, commonly used to keep something/someone in, or commonly used to let someone/something out. Some of them stand vertically on henges, while others are on ceilings [for attics], and others are on the ground [for cellars]. You would have to imagine every possibilty of a physical door you could think of, then specify each door and description by name [i.e., front door, back door, cellar door, closet door, bedroom door, attic door]. If your robot has the capability of registering/programming the different types of doors there are, along with the ability to be programmed to know what each door looks like, knows shapes, colors, hues, etc... Other than that, you'd not be able to describe "a door", but rather multiple physical characteristics of the doors, the function of that particular door, giving the robot "commands" for a specified type of door, color, shape, location, etc...
👍 66 | 👎 -19

Wil Wil
A freak is a term used to describe somebody or something it is distinctive, or no longer "standard" this is no longer meant in a damaging way nonetheless. as an occasion.....My pal on the gymnasium is seen a "freak" via fact he can carry extensive quantities of weight without concern, on the different hand the be conscious "freak" might want for use to describe somebody with an unusual sexual fetish or actual abnormality, say a disfigured individual such via fact the Elephant guy. "freak occurance" is used to describe an no longer likely experience.
👍 59 | 👎 -28

Sandford Sandford
"should we have laws based on concepts that aren't legally defined, but left up to the interpretation of a judge or jury?" NO. Unclear and vague laws lead to tyranny.
👍 52 | 👎 -37

Sandford Originally Answered: How do you define love?
love is a lovable feeling for lovers......my advice is dont fall in love.......it hurts u a lot........

If you have your own answer to the question what is case law definition, then you can write your own version, using the form below for an extended answer.