Newsletter: AI Traces Missing Person & VR Is The New Morphine!

QUOTE OF THE DAY

“Replicants like any other machine, are either a benefit or a hazard. If they’re a benefit, it’s not my problem” – Rick Deckard (Blade Runner)

BAIDU AI USES FACIAL RECOGNITION TO FIND MISSING PERSON

 


THE STORY

AI developed by Chinese web services company Baidu displays marvelous use of Facial Recognition technology to help abducted child reunite with his family after 27 years.

WHAT MAKES THIS SO IMPORTANT?

Facial recognition and AI technologies despite their benefits, aren’t seen in a good view by a lot of people. But this instance proves that any technology, if applied correctly can become a boon for users. In this case, a 33-year-old Chinese man named Fu Gui, who was abducted years ago uploaded his photo from when he was 10 years old to a website. Gui’s real parents who also uploaded his childhood photos were matched with Gui’s photo, via cross-age facial recognition that was introduced by Baidu in November last year.

HOW BAIDU AI FOUND FU-GUI?

As per Fu Gui, he always felt that he didn’t remember a lot of things about his childhood, so impulsively he uploaded a photo on a website named Baobeihuijia, from when he was 10 years old. Unbeknown to him, his family also uploaded his childhood photos in hope to someday find their missing son.

Gui is one of the first few matches that Baidu AI found after its initial implementation. While facial recognition wasn’t evidence enough if Gui had found his biological parents, a DNA test was conducted to clear all doubts and help him reunite with his family after nearly 3 decades.

WHAT IS BAOBEIHUIJIA?

Child abduction is quite a major issue of concern in China, with more than 10,000 children being abducted all over Chinese mainland. These children are either sold to foster families, or forced in criminal activities including slavery and prostitution. The website that made this possible is called Baobeihuijia, which translates to ‘Baby Come Home’ and has been dedicated in reuniting families with abducted children for the past 10 years.

It uses facial recognition technology to match photos uploaded by parents with the ones uploaded by people who feel they were abducted at a young age. Although the company claims that the technology is far from being perfect, it is still more accurate and faster than human eye in finding visual similarities or difference between images.


VR HAS BETTER PAINKILLING PROPERTIES THAN MORPHINE!

THE STORY

Study conducted at University of Washington found VR to be far more effective at suppressing pain in burn victims, as compared to opioids.

HOW VR TREATMENT WORKS?

This experimental yet promising therapy was created by psychologist Hunter Hoffman, who works at HITLab in University of Washington. This involves a virtual environment called SnowWorld that victims are submerged in while being treated for burn wounds. This environment, diverts the patient’s attention by making them fly through a snowy canyon, while throwing snowballs at penguins.

WHAT DOES THE STUDY SUGGEST?

Initially, the results were far better than any other distractive pain suppression methods such as music and video games. Hoffman has been involved in several treatment procedures throughout the last 10 years, where this technology was applied in treatment of several army veterans and burn victims. According to patients, they experienced up to 75% less pain during wound-care sessions while playing SnowWorld. This totally blows away most painstaking medicines based on opioids and the infamous Morphine.

WHAT LIES IN THE FUTURE?

The positive results in initial studies have led to the creation of Firsthand Technologies, a startup by HITLabs, that is involved in the development of VR technologies in medicinal treatments. This also includes an improved version of Snowworld, that is powered by updated technology aimed at patients suffering from chronic pain.

Akshay Peter

Akshay Luke Peters is a writer and blogger for Systweak Software. He likes to write about off-beat topics and technological awareness. He is also part musician who likes to explore the future of technology in entertainment and popular media.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *