Computer Vision Can Help Us Build a Safer, Securer Society

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We’ve spilled a fair amount of digital ink on our blog about the industries that AI and its related technologies are ripe to disrupt and the applications that these softwares could see in the future.

In many regards, AI, machine learning, deep learning, computer vision, and synthetic data can help us analyze and understand our environment, the industrial world, and other phenomena with unprecedented depth. Now we have the tools to harness and process data more efficiently and quickly than at any point in the technological age, and we can use this data to build systems that improve our daily lives in the home, in the office, on the streets, and everywhere in between.

But this technology can be used for more than just convenience and efficiency. We can also use it to build a safer world. Specifically, computer vision and AI can be used to build more secure networks and systems in a world that is becoming more hyper connected and digitized by the day.

So how can these technologies lead us toward a safer, more secure society? Here are just a few examples of how AI and computer vision can be applied for public safety and private security.

Facial Recognition

We’ve seen Apple employ a similar technology with the iPhone X, wherein users can unlock their phone with a facial scan. Neuromation’s computer vision can be employed in a like manner for smartphones, giving users complete peace of mind that their phone can’t be opened unless their face is scanned.

This technology is obviously not limited to phones. It can be used for computers, tablets, and — in the future — even cars and houses. Such facial recognition will be foundational for redefining how we secure access to our devices and homes.

Disability Assistance

Computer vision can be used to help the physically disabled reclaim control over their surroundings and faculties.

Microsoft has already made inroads with this application. The tech giant built an iPhone app that helps blind/visually deficient people to better navigate their surroundings and “see” what they otherwise cannot. It leverages neural networks, the same tech used for self-driving cars and other AI-powered automation.

Seeing AI, as it’s called, utilizes computer vision to give the visually impaired a second set of eyes. The app’s AI narrates the world around its user, using the phone’s camera to observe its surroundings. It can recognize people, read their facial expressions to reveal their mood, and even identify handwriting. Moreover, it can recognize household products with a simple barcode scan and read documents for its user — it even knows a dollar when it sees one.

Neuromation’s image recognition and computer vision software could be leveraged to a similar effect. As we mature our suite of technologies, we could take this application to the next level, allowing smartphone cameras to scan and analyze entire environments (sidewalks, city scapes, parks, etc) to give the visually impaired a reliable guidance system to help them retrieve their independence.

Public Monitoring for Public Safety

We can use computer vision in public areas to protect the common good and prevent dangerous events like terrorist attacks and mass shootings.

The Computer Vision Lab (CVL) at the University of Maryland has been researching computer vision’s ability to detect and analyze certain visual patterns to this effect. In a summary report on this research, the university’s researchers outline how such an iteration of the technology could be used to detect bad actors and dangerous individuals within the realm of public transportation:

“Suppose a man is acting strangely at Grand Central Station in New York. Is he intoxicated, planting a bomb, or having a seizure? Could a computer recognize the strange behavior and alert the appropriate authorities? [Researchers] Rama Chellappa and Larry Davis are developing streaming video systems that use gait recognition and object recognition to detect abnormal activities and alert authorities to those events that demand specific responses…More sophisticated gait-recognition programs can ‘see’ that a person is carrying a concealed weapon by the way he walks. “

This application obviously has salient ramifications for airports, train stations, and the like, and it could be applied to any building or area, public or private, to police dangerous behavior.

More than this, though, it could also be used in dangerous work environments. A factory, for instance, could use it to surveil workers involved in high-risk operations. If the AI notices that a worker is conducting a job in a neglectful/potentially harmful manor, it can alert the respective employee to protect him/her from committing a potentially dangerous mistake.

As with our previous examples, Neuromation has all the tools to become the software for such applications. Our computer vision could be employed by governments, airports, transportation services, employers, factories, and any entity in between to prevent acts of violence and harmful accident.

With solutions like these at the fingertips of society, Neuromation is striving to be at the forefront of breakthroughs in computer vision technology and AI applications. Together, we can build the infrastructure for a safer society, one where you never have to worry about the security of your smart devices nor fear for your safety when boarding a plane or train.