… intelligence has been an important tool in gaining a better understanding of our world, it’s imperative that we learn more from it, writes Paul Budde.


Another interesting example was revealed a few weeks ago. Operation Night Watch shows what a computer system combining imagination, resources, technical virtuosity and mastery of a powerful technology can achieve.

Painted in 1642, Rembrandt’s Night Watch was in 1715 cut on all four sides to fit in a new spot in Amsterdam’s Town Hall (now the Royal Palace). The cut off pieces were lost. However, there was a copy of the full painting made by Gerrit Lundens shortly after Rembrandt had finished it but it was clear that it was not as good as the one from the master himself. Nevertheless, that painting showed the missing bits. With the assistance of AI, these pieces have been reconstructed.

The reconstruction was based on the system approach. First, AI was used to teach the computer what Lundens’ style of painting was: his brush strokes, techniques and so on. Then, through AI, the system was fed with information based on Rembrandt’s techniques and his way of work was programmed into the computer as the desired outcome. The result is just stunning; Wolfram will be extremely proud of that.