AARON, Colorist: from Expert System to Expert

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Harold Cohen: AARON, Colorist: from Expert System to Expert. October 2006.



My eleven-year old daughter Zana (1) enjoys perfectly normal color vision, and, like any other normally perceptive person, she believes that color is a property of things. Consequently, she was quite put out when I told her that color isn’t really a property of things at all, it’s a property of vision. In the real world, I said, where the things are, there’s light, but not color. You need the right kind of eyes to see color, and animals that don’t have the right kind of eyes see the world in black and white and grey.

I don’t see how that can be, she said, (2) how can they know what’s going on around them if they can’t see the colors? Oh, that’s easy, I said, as a matter of fact you and I know what’s going on mostly by how light or dark things are, even though we’re seeing in color. The color doesn’t add a whole lot.

I don’t get it, she said. Look, I’ll show you, (3) I said. Well, she said, I think it does add a lot and I’m glad I have the right kind of eyes. Flowers are much nicer when they’re colored.

You’re right, I said. (4) ...

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