Military-backed surveillance prototype can read people’s actions on video

Cognitive Video Surveillance

Researchers at Carnegie Mellon have developed a system for letting a computer analyze what’s going on in video footage. The system, which they refer to in a recent paper as “automatic action recognition in video surveillance,” essentially breaks a video into chunks, then matches each piece to a verb like “pick up” or “bury.” A concept-mapping system helps work through similar ideas (“dig” and “bury,” for example.) The result is a program that can watch surveillance footage and identify the actions that are taking place. Ultimately, it could alert human viewers if it sees something suspicious — like, if the example above is representative, a person dragging a body across a parking lot.

An ideal Mind’s Eye computer could figure out…

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