aifaces

Our Computers Can Recognize Faces but Imagine Seeing Through an Animal’s Eyes. Now We Can.

Seeing Through An Animal’s Eyes

Computer Vision and Facial Recognition have gone from rare and difficult to increasingly available thanks to Artificial Intelligence (AI). But, we did not know how our brain sees – until now. Imagine seeing through another animal’s eyes.

Vision – an amazing capability of how we perceive and interact with our physical world. How the mechanics work in biological systems, like us, has been elusive. Nonetheless, we have been trying to get our computers to see objects and even recognize faces. We’ve been banging away at this challenge for decades but in the last year, breakthroughs in machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) have enabled us to make great strides.

Things are progressing so fast that not only can you use facial recognition software to sort your photos when you store them but NEST (the Google company that makes smart thermostats, etc.) just announced that you can buy their home security camera with facial recognition to identify who is at your premise. Machine vision driven by AI enables computers and robots to perform all sorts of activities that once only humans could do.

This is definitely pretty head spinning stuff. But, while impressive it’s nothing compared to what Mother Nature can do. We get there by brute-forcing the solution using tons of computing power (brought to you inexpensively by the cloud). What is really elegant is how biology pulls off the same trick in a small space, with neurons and just a little bit of power.

Well, we now have an answer. Ironically, just about the same time NEST announced it was bringing computer vision to your doorstep, researchers from Caltech announced that they had cracked the brain’s facial recognition code. Imagine seeing with another animal’s eyes. Through a clever and sophisticated approach, they could actually “read” what a macaque’s brain saw. Sounds like science fiction. But see (no pun intended) for yourself.

Here are pictures of the faces they presented to the monkey test subjects compared to what they predicted the face would look like from reading the brain:

Even more astonishing, the scientists only needed to take readings from 205 brain cells. (Just to give you a sense of scale: there are estimated to be 100 Billion brain cells riding up there behind your eyes.) Talk about an incredibly efficient system to recognize faces.

Where do we go from here? One thought is: now that we know how we recognize faces perhaps we can use that to vastly improve our computer facial recognition algorithms and devices. Here’s another albeit a little more out there: if we can do this with one of our ape relatives, how long before we will be able to do the same with one of us. Imagine seeing through another person’s eyes!

By John Pientka

John Pientka

John is currently the principal of Pientka and Associates which specializes in IT and Cloud Computing.

Over the years John has been vice president at CGI Federal, where he lead their cloud computing division. He founded and served as CEO of GigEpath, which provided communication solutions to major corporations. He has also served as president of British Telecom’s outsourcing arm Syncordia, vice president and general manager of a division at Motorola.

John has earned his M.B.A. from Harvard University as well as a bachelor’s degree from the State University in Buffalo, New York.

View Website
Data as a Service

Data as a Service: 5 Strategies to Transition How You Access Data

Data as a Service Information wants to be free — at least that’s the saying. And like any good saying, you can read it in one of two ways. First, information seeks to be out ...
Cloudification - Budgets are Shifting Toward a “Cloud-first” and “Cloud-only” Approach

Cloudification – Budgets are Shifting Toward a “Cloud-first” and “Cloud-only” Approach

Cloudification and the Budget Shift Gartner has recently predicted that by 2020, a corporate "no-cloud" policy will be as rare as a "no-internet" policy is today. CIOs will increasingly leverage a multitude of cloud computing ...
Tech Trends That Is Shaping the Future: Cloud, IoT and AI

Tech Trends That Is Shaping the Future: Cloud, IoT and AI

Tech Trends Future Do not expect disruptive tech but improvements of existing technologies Tech trends that will shape the future will not be disruptive technologies but development of already available technologies that will progress further ...
Ransomware, Backups and the Aging IT Specialist

Ransomware, Backups and the Aging IT Specialist

Small Business Cloud Right now, two technology trends characterize the small business ecosystem: a growing migration to the cloud, and a growing susceptibility to cybercrime, particularly in the form of ransomware. Recently, I discovered this ...
Biometric Authentication

Passwords: More Secure Than Biometric Authentication?

Biometric Authentication Biometrics has long granted or denied access to secure things like premises and vehicles. Now it is being seriously considered for the same role as regards connected services. A recent draft publication by ...
The Lighter Side Of The Cloud - The Letter "G"
The Lighter Of The Cloud - Virtual Lunch Break
The Lighter Side Of The Cloud - Recovery Experts
The Lighter Side Of The Cloud - The Robo-Revolution
The Lighter Side Of The Cloud - The Apple Watch
The Lighter Side Of The Cloud - Really Smart Machines
Star Wars IoT CES
The Lighter Side Of The Cloud - Low Tech
The Lighter Side Of The Cloud - Machine Learning

CLOUDBUZZ NEWS

China Approves Toshiba's $18 Billion Sale of Its Memory-Chip Unit

China Approves Toshiba’s $18 Billion Sale of Its Memory-Chip Unit

TOKYO—Private-equity firm Bain Capital received approval from Chinese antitrust regulators for its deal to buy Toshiba Corp.’s memory-chip unit, a person familiar with the matter said Thursday. A Bain-led consortium reached the $18 billion deal ...
Rackspace Launches Kubernetes-as-a-Service with Fully Managed Operations

Rackspace Launches Kubernetes-as-a-Service with Fully Managed Operations

SAN ANTONIO – May 16, 2018 – Rackspace today announced Rackspace Kubernetes-as-a-Service, a highly-available managed service that transforms the way enterprises can utilize new container technologies, accelerating their digital transformation. Rackspace is focused on delivering true transformation ...
Oracle Blockchain Cloud Service and Financial Services Enable Next-Gen Blockchain Innovators

Oracle Blockchain Cloud Service and Financial Services Enable Next-Gen Blockchain Innovators

Students Tackle Real Problems and Succeed in Blockchain Challenge In an effort to accelerate blockchain innovation in Financial Services and other industries, Oracle recently joined academia and banking industry leaders as part of the Carolina Fintech ...