Gigglebit: Computers are terrible at differentiating colour

6 Apr 2015

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Gigglebit is Siliconrepublic’s daily dose of the funny and fantastic in science and tech, to help start your day on a lighter note. In this edition, MinutePhysics explains how our computers are lying to us.

Okay, so maybe not lying to us on purpose, but mostly when it comes to it being able to see when colours blend into one.

According to those clever folks over at MinutePhysics, those who design the code for most computers saw a way of saving disk space back in the day by using human beings’ better ability at determining small differences in the brightness of dark scenes.

So, when you zoom in on an image of a palette of colours, the crossing point between two colours appears as a dark line when, in fact, it should be a mixture of the two.

Effectively, almost all of the most popularly used computer programs have this flaw which MinutePhysics says is taking “the ugly, lazy and wrong approach”.

You might not ever be able to look at an Instagram post again.

Photoshopping image via Shutterstock

Colm Gorey is a journalist with Siliconrepublic.com

editorial@siliconrepublic.com