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Military AI interface helps you make sense of thousands of photos

Jon Fingas, @jonfingas
July 5, 2015
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It's easy to find computer vision technology that detect objects in photos, but it's still tough to sift through photos... and that's a big challenge for the military, where finding the right picture could mean taking out a target or spotting a terrorist threat. Thankfully, the US' armed forces may soon have a way to not only spot items in large image libraries, but help human observers find them. DARPA's upcoming, artificial intelligence-backed Visual Media Reasoning system both detects what's in a shot and presents it in a simple interface that bunches photos and videos together based on patterns. If you want to know where a distinctive-looking car has been, for example, you might only need to look in a single group.

As you might suspect, the goal is to turn enemy media campaigns on their head -- all those online propaganda pics and training videos would make it much easier to pinpoint the whereabouts of bases and leaders. There's a chance that it would get creepy given that it could easily power other government surveillance programs, but there's no doubt that soldiers would appreciate this AI-assisted intel.

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