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Austrian researchers train dogs to use computers

Austrian researchers train dogs to use computers
Darren Murph
Darren Murph|December 1, 2007 12:40 PM
Yeah, teaching a canine how to operate a computer may sound pretty complex, but considering that one such animal was actually trained to sniff out and snag cellphones for its dubious owner, we guess it's not too difficult to conceive after all. In a recent study published in Animal Cognition, researchers from the University of Vienna in Austria taught four dogs to use computer automated touch-screens in order to carry out classification tests, theoretically eliminating any "potential human influence." In experiments that sought to see if dogs could indeed visually categorize pictures and transfer learning to new scenarios, the four subjects "were shown landscape and dog photographs and expected to make a selection on a computer touchscreen." Eventually, the authors concluded that using computers in animal testing could open up new windows of opportunity in testing cognitive abilities, but c'mon, you know those pups were just clicking around to see if their testing station would in fact play Doom.

[Via TheInquirer, image courtesy of Itchmo]