Optical Character Recognition

Our second example deals with a more challenging problem: the recognition of hand-printed letters of the alphabet. The characters that people print in the ordinary course of filling  out forms and questionnaires are surprisingly varied. Gaps abound wherecontinuous lines might be expected; curves and sharp angles appear interchangeably; there is almost every imaginable distortion of slant, shape and size. Even human readers  cannot always identify such characters; their error  rate is about 3 per  cent on randomly selected letters and numbers, seen out of  context.

- from PATTERN RECOGNITION BY MACHINE by Oliver G. Selfridge & Ulric Neisser. Computers and Thought. Edited by Edward A. Feigenbaum and Julian Feldman, 1963, New York: McGraw-Hill

Image from jessamyn on Flickr.