I’m always interested in stories about merging new technologies and old, analog and digital, human and computer teams. Here’s a good one: DARPA ran a contest last month, with a $50,000 prize, in which contestants were asked to use technologies to re-assemble shredded documents. The winning team, All Your Shreds Are Belong To Us, “used custom-coded, computer-vision algorithms to suggest fragment pairings to human assemblers for verification. In total, the winning team spent nearly 600 man-hours developing algorithms and piecing together documents that were shredded into more than 10,000 pieces.” Here are some photos. The forum discussions look pretty interesting.
Yeah, I think that type of help could come in handy for re-assembling letters destroyed by iron-gall ink such as those in my photo above. And I’d like to know more about those mysterious “human assemblers” and their techniques!