Car with driver

One company’s new product, an in-car camera that identifies and monitors your every emotion, has some interesting goals for future product iterations: not only is a future iteration aimed at identifying when someone drunk gets into a car, but as cars go autonomous, this product’s creators plan to have it identify your age, race, and gender—as well as predict what your relationship is with others in the car. Eventually, they believe this tech will connect with other smart devices to collectively identify your ideal user experience, personalizing music, adjusting car temperature and lighting, and changing car TV content.

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Pile of plastic trash

It can be hard to know which types of plastics are recyclable, and it can also be hard to motivate people to recycle. That’s why one company developed a robot to do that for us. Using cameras, sensors, and a Bayesian classifier, Trashbot scans and sorts trash as it’s thrown away in the Philadelphia airport so we don’t have to.

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Drones over a cityscape

Researchers have been training autonomous drones to avoid hitting things while on the roads, and they’ve seen initial success (see video below). But the major success comes from the fact that this research team successfully trained drones to do this while using very little processing power. That’s impressive. This is a great breakthrough because it usually takes a lot of computing power for autonomous drones to navigate. Also, one thing it could do in the future is enable nano drones to autonomously function in urban settings as well.

Photo by Goh Rhy Yan on Unsplash

Fashionable woman in India

If you want to be the embodiment of the latest Bollywood fashion wherever you go, there is an AI for you. Fashin AI will scan the latest Bollywood YouTube videos and find you items of apparel you can purchase online that will match with the latest trends. Become your inner Bollywood.


Photo by Saksham Gangwar on Unsplash

In the cover of night, when poachers seek their fortunes by killing forbidden treasures, like rhinos and elephants and big cats, this unmanned, autonomous drone uses a combo of infrared and AI to identify, watch, and follow humans. The aim is to help authorities catch the ignominious poachers. The creators hope to get the drone into the hands of park rangers in African National Parks.
This drone tech belongs to a group called Air Shepherd, which may bring to mind the group Sea Shepherd from Whale Wars. The shared shepherd name conjures up an image of plucky conservationists hunting and confronting pirates and poachers. But the Air Shepherd org seems to be more likely to operate inside the law than the controversial Sea Shepherd.

Watch how the drone works here:

Sometimes, it’s hard to say what makes you think someone is lying to you. Was it a slight flick of the eyelid, an almost imperceptible tremor of the lip, an ever-so-slight flush of the face? But when there’s more at stake than the result of a little white lie—like the wrong person begin convicted of a crime—you have to rely on more than a perception. Upping the lie-detecting ante, a research group tested a computer vision application on videos of truth-tellers and liars on the stand in the courtroom to see how well it could tell when a person was or wasn’t lying, and it was accurate nearly 90 percent of the time—beating humans significantly at the task, though, it’s probably important to mention that the video was tested on actors.

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In an effort to provide better subtitles, researchers created this AI tool that reads lips better than lip-reading professionals and other automated programs. Since this new AI trained on 5,000 hours of BBC, it has a larger vocabulary and more complex grammar knowledge than prior automated lip-reading programs. And there are some very interesting implications: maybe Siri won’t need to hear your voice to listen to your commands, and who knows, now you may not need audio to understand what your tour guide in a noisy cathedral is saying.

Photo by Tirachard Kumtanom from Pexels