Artificial intelligence has graduated past the infancy stage of figuring out what's in an image. Computers have previously been capable of little more than a simple game of I Spy: Name a specific object or person, and they'll show you an image containing it. But thanks to new developments in AI research, machines can now answer more complex questions, like, “What is there on the grass, except the person?”

A research paper expected to be published on Thursday in Cornell University's Arxiv outlines a system that learns to identify fine-grained visual features of images, and the words associated with them. Then it combines the two into a dictionary in its digital brain. It then references this to answer new questions about never-before-seen images.

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