The human mind can remarkably imagine objects that it has never seen, touched, or heard, all in vivid detail. Motivated by the desire to harness this rich source of information from the human mind, this paper investigates how to extract classifiers from the human visual system and leverage them in a machine. We introduce a method that, inspired by well-known tools in human psychophysics, estimates the classifier that the human visual system might use for recognition, but in computer vision feature spaces. Our experiments are surprising, and suggest that classifiers from the human visual system can be transferred into a machine with some success. Since these classifiers seem to capture favorable biases in the human visual system, we present a novel SVM formulation that constrains the orientation of the SVM hyperplane to agree with the human visual system. Our results suggest that transferring this human bias into machines can help object recognition systems generalize across datasets. Moreover, we found that people's culture may subtly vary the objects that people imagine, which influences this bias. Overall, human imagination can be an interesting resource for future visual recognition systems.
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