Each week, we spotlight a cool innovation recommended by some of the industry's top tech writers. This week's pick is an AI with X-ray vision.
"Omnipresent wireless signals that keep us connected can now be used like X-rays to see and track the movements of people, even when hidden behind walls," said Andrew Liszewski at Gizmodo. Radio waves, while invisible to the eye, bounce off human bodies when wireless signals come out of broadcast antennas, and the way the signals are altered can be measured.
Researchers at MIT's Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory trained a neural network to generate stick-figure skeletons of people walking, sitting, and talking. They then taught the AI how those skeletons corresponded to scattered radio signals. Eventually, "by analyzing just the scattered radio-signal data," the neural network was able to generate skeletons showing a person's posture and movements, even when the person was hidden behind a wall. "It's X-ray vision without the need for blasting harmful X-rays."