A team led by programmer Taeg Sang Cho has developed software that can figure out 400-piece jigsaw puzzles. Previous iterations of the technology needed a helping hand via less pieces or limited colors, but Cho's program can handle any image or photograph.
To test the software, Cho and his team cut 5-megabyte pictures into even squares (demonstrated above). The program then analyzes the colors present and begins to rearrange the squares based on what they have in common. It's successfully recreated 20 test images, and can solve a 400-piece puzzle in a scant three minutes.
Sure, squares don't sound like the most challenging puzzle to solve, but you didn't think Cho was really going to use his software on just jigsaws, did you? In the future, he envisions the software being used for a variety of means, such as making edited pictures look more realistic, reconstructing fragmented documents (such as those discovered on archaeological digs) and even modeling DNA and RNA.