A helicopter on the ground

A US Army project is developing an artificial intelligence tool that can recognize faces through walls and in the dark. How does it do it? By using thermal imagery scanning: the AI takes a map of your body heat and matches the facial thermal scan against a database of faces. It sounds tricky because pictures in a database are not in thermal scan form. But preliminary research has successfully matched these scans against regular pictures. Since the US military has thermal scanning built into many of its tools, this tech would easily enhance a preexisting ecosystem. So, ultimately, if you’re not on some sort of watchlist or in a database of most wanted, you don’t need to fear that this AI tool will recognize your face. For now.

Photo by DON JACKSON-WYATT on Unsplash

Cave with light coming through

Sometimes it’s hard for archeologists to tell if a location is an ancient burial site or simply where someone died long ago. One group of researchers trained a machine learning algorithm to decipher between these two possibilities, as well as other situations. While the results of this group’s study are heavily disputed by other archeologists (and for good reason since there are many factors that need to be taken into consideration), the researchers say their conclusions can’t be discounted.

Photo by Joshua Sortino on Unsplash

Large hail stones

A postdoctoral researcher at the US National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) developed a simple convolutional neural network model to predict hailstorms. The researcher trained the model on 82,000 storm profiles and tested it on 32,000 storms. It was accurate 88 percent of the time. While this neural net is currently a proof of concept, its accuracy shows promise, piquing the interest of other meteorologists.

Photo Found Here: https://pixabay.com/en/hailstone-storm-highveld-1614239/

Half bright moon

Artificial intelligence is not only making a big impact on Earth, but in our solar system as well. AI has enabled astronomers to quickly identify 6,000 new craters on the moon. Using AI as a discovery method has big implications for astronomers, allowing them to spend less time combing through data and more time researching and theorizing.

Photo Found Here: https://pixabay.com/en/moon-crescent-night-sky-background-2373242/

Bustling street

Not only will jaywalkers be publicly shamed by having their photos and family names broadcast in public on billboards above traffic intersections, but they’ll also be fined via text message in the near future. The tech uses facial recognition to identify the offender and then send the person an electronic ticket. This new fining method is currently being vetted with local phone companies.

Photo by Chris Chan on Unsplash

A close-up on an eye

It’s been hot news for the last 24 hours: Google’s developed a machine learning algorithm that can scan images of your eyes and predict your risk of heart disease. While this tech is not ready for clinical use yet (it needs more testing), it holds a lot of promise—it predicts heart disease to about the same level of accuracy as other current medical methods, and it’s fast because testing doesn’t require analyzing blood results.

What are the implications? Once this tool goes live in a medical setting, it’ll save doctors and patients time, time that doctors can use to better treat patients.

Photo by Liam Welch on Unsplash

Ancient building facade

It’s hard to detect smaller earthquakes in areas that have few seismic stations. And the less data you have, the harder it can be. Now, with a convolutional neural network developed by Harvard and MIT researchers, seismologists can better sift through the data to find earthquakes. By feeding the network training sets from seismically inactive regions, the network can identify and disregard regular activity while parsing the data, allowing it to clearly identify tremors.

What are the implications? We can better identify earthquakes and tremors with less data.

Photo Found Here: https://pixabay.com/en/temple-shack-earthquake-burma-2740180/

A policeman in China

Chinese police officers are starting to employ smart glasses to identify criminals in a crowd. They simply snap the best picture they can get with their glasses of a suspicious person, and the tech checks the potential criminal’s face against the state’s system to find a match, using facial recognition. They say it’s worked in seven criminal cases so far. Some people welcome this change hoping it will decrease crime. Others find it alarming when added on top of the state’s current use of facial recognition tech.

Photo by Thana Gu on Unsplash

Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania conducted a brain study where they used personalized algorithms to trigger brain-specific pulses, to hopefully improve their patients’ memories . . . and these algorithms did. Patients’ word recall increased by 15 percent. Essentially, they are working to build a brain-activity reader that can tell when the brain is effectively encoding memories. If it’s not, they send pulses pulses to certain areas of the brain that kick brain activity up a notch.

Photo Found Here: https://pixabay.com/en/walnut-nut-shell-nutshell-open-3072652/