Our sense of smell is gloriously specific. The mellow aroma of butter and flour rising from warm pie crust, the synthetic bite of fresh paint, the familiar odor of a new car—when we get a whiff of something, we know immediately what it is. But this natural delicacy of perception far exceeds our ability to tell how a given molecule, drawn on a blackboard and considered as an abstraction, will strike our noses.
— Computers can't smell yet, but they're learning. Read more at O.K., Computer, Tell Me What This Smells Like at The New Yorker.