From the primitive scratchings of ancient cave dwellers, to the super-high-resolution images of far-off galaxies captured by modern telescopes, human beings have always been obsessed with pictures. The history of photography is the progression of society's ability to freeze an image in time, using technology to gradually improve its quality. The word photography is based on the Greek "photos" and "graphe" which together means "drawing with light". While decent-quality photos today are instantly available with the touch of a button on any smart phone, early photography was a laborious process that often delivered poor results. Picture-making dates back to antiquity with the discovery of two principles – camera obscura image projection, and the observation that certain substances can be altered by exposure to light. Camera obscura, the phenomenon that occurs when an image is projected through a small hole onto an opposite surface, was found in the writings of Aristotle and Chinese scholars, dating back to the 4th century BC.
The TriRhenaTech alliance presents a collection of accepted papers of the cancelled tri-national 'Upper-Rhine Artificial Inteeligence Symposium' planned for 13th May 2020 in Karlsruhe. The TriRhenaTech alliance is a network of universities in the Upper-Rhine Trinational Metropolitan Region comprising of the German universities of applied sciences in Furtwangen, Kaiserslautern, Karlsruhe, and Offenburg, the Baden-Wuerttemberg Cooperative State University Loerrach, the French university network Alsace Tech (comprised of 14 'grandes \'ecoles' in the fields of engineering, architecture and management) and the University of Applied Sciences and Arts Northwestern Switzerland. The alliance's common goal is to reinforce the transfer of knowledge, research, and technology, as well as the cross-border mobility of students.
In the last few years, companies have started using such race-detection software to understand how certain customers use their products, who looks at their ads, or what people of different racial groups like. Others use the tool to seek different racial features in stock photography collections, typically for ads, or in security, to help narrow down the search for someone in a database. In China, where face tracking is widespread, surveillance cameras have been equipped with race-scanning software to track ethnic minorities. The field is still developing, and it is an open question how companies, governments and individuals will take advantage of such technology in the future. Use of the software is fraught, as researchers and companies have begun to recognize its potential to drive discrimination, posing challenges to widespread adoption.
Logged forests cover four million square kilometres of the tropics and restoring these forests is essential if we are to avoid the worst impacts of climate change, yet monitoring recovery is challenging. Tracking the abundance of visually identifiable, early-successional species enables successional status and thereby restoration progress to be evaluated. Here we present a new pipeline, SLIC-UAV, for processing Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) imagery to map early-successional species in tropical forests. The pipeline is novel because it comprises: (a) a time-efficient approach for labelling crowns from UAV imagery; (b) machine learning of species based on spectral and textural features within individual tree crowns, and (c) automatic segmentation of orthomosaiced UAV imagery into 'superpixels', using Simple Linear Iterative Clustering (SLIC). Creating superpixels reduces the dataset's dimensionality and focuses prediction onto clusters of pixels, greatly improving accuracy. To demonstrate SLIC-UAV, support vector machines and random forests were used to predict the species of hand-labelled crowns in a restoration concession in Indonesia. Random forests were most accurate at discriminating species for whole crowns, with accuracy ranging from 79.3% when mapping five common species, to 90.5% when mapping the three most visually-distinctive species. In contrast, support vector machines proved better for labelling automatically segmented superpixels, with accuracy ranging from 74.3% to 91.7% for the same species. Models were extended to map species across 100 hectares of forest. The study demonstrates the power of SLIC-UAV for mapping characteristic early-successional tree species as an indicator of successional stage within tropical forest restoration areas. Continued effort is needed to develop easy-to-implement and low-cost technology to improve the affordability of project management.
Alcatel 3L may feature similar technology found in the leading smartphones, but it can be purchased for a sixth of the price. The handset, developed by TCL Communications, debuted at CES in Las Vegas with a price tag of $155 and includes an AI-powered triple rear cameras setup. The system includes a 48-megapixel sensor, a 12-megapixel and a 5-megapixel for ultra wide shots. The Alcatel 3L will be released in'select markets across Europe, Asia, Africa and the Middle East in the beginning of this year, reports CNET. Alcatel 3L may features similar technology found in the leading smartphones, but it can be purchased for a sixth of the price.
Visual 1st, the annual Silicon-Valley imaging conference for industry leaders and upstarts, once again brought together a worldwide audience for a day-and-a-half executive conference. The event, held Oct. 2-3 at the Golden Gate Club in San Francisco, addresses topics as far-reaching as artificial intelligence and as every day as printing. As with most conferences, the real meat of the event is the hallway discussions and informal meetings over a beer or wine at the reception. Below are some photos from the conference, courtesy of sponsor, Sweet Escapes. Each year, a panel of high-powered industry experts presented the four Visual 1st Awards to the most outstanding among 30 products competing in this year's show-and-tell demo sessions.
SAN FRANCISCO – When Liz O'Sullivan was hired at the New York City-based artificial intelligence company Clarifai in 2017, she felt lucky to find work at the intersection of two of her main interests: technology and ethics. Two years later, she found herself facing a moral dilemma. Clarifai was developing aerial photography and object detection tools as one of several companies working on Project Maven, a Pentagon drone surveillance program. After several conversations with friends and colleagues, O'Sullivan realized this type of technology eventually could be used for autonomous weapons. In January, she wrote to Clarifai CEO Matt Zeiler on behalf of a group of employees, seeking clarification on whether the technology would be used to create weapons and asking him to commit to a series of ethical measures.
To fly drones commercially, however, companies must comply with numerous regulations and restrictions. The Federal Aviation Administration requires commercial drone operators to complete a "Part 107" process -- which Deangelis compared to "ground school" -- that includes testing to assure drone pilots understand things like airspace, weather patterns and sectional maps. Commercial operators must retest every two years and carry insurance that can cost several thousand dollars annually.
UAVs are tackling everything from disease control to vacuuming up ocean waste to delivering pizza, and more. Drone technology has been used by defense organizations and tech-savvy consumers for quite some time. However, the benefits of this technology extends well beyond just these sectors. With the rising accessibility of drones, many of the most dangerous and high-paying jobs within the commercial sector are ripe for displacement by drone technology. The use cases for safe, cost-effective solutions range from data collection to delivery. And as autonomy and collision-avoidance technologies improve, so too will drones' ability to perform increasingly complex tasks. According to forecasts, the emerging global market for business services using drones is valued at over $127B. As more companies look to capitalize on these commercial opportunities, investment into the drone space continues to grow. A drone or a UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle) typically refers to a pilotless aircraft that operates through a combination of technologies, including computer vision, artificial intelligence, object avoidance tech, and others. But drones can also be ground or sea vehicles that operate autonomously.
The purpose of a consumer drone remains nebulous these days. Depending on who you ask, you'll get a different answer. Drones are great for sophisticated aerial photography and video, but they're also adept at surveying empty lots of land and crowded real estate, or measuring agricultural yield and helping climate model the Arctic. Even as drones get more sophisticated, cheaper, and smaller, there isn't an easy answer beyond the fact that unmanned aerial vehicles are cool gadgets and fun to fly -- granted, where and when the Federal Aviation Administration deems it legal to do so. But what if a drone was smart enough to handle itself, in any and all situations?