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Saturday, Jun 15, 2024

Saving lives motivates AI researchers

University of Hong Kong researchers have developed an artificial intelligence model to detect human posture and issue warnings upon unusual movements - for example when a person collapses, or initiates physical attacks.
The model can analyze a person's motives according to the behavior and social setting.

While current detection technologies are limited to static images, HKU researchers said their new AI can scan through real-time videos and detect anomalies such as falling, fainting and drowning, and violence such as fighting, within a quarter of a second with over 90 percent accuracy.

The system can immediately sound alarms to prevent the situation from worsening.

For instance, when a user takes out a knife in the kitchen, the alarm is not triggered, but the system can detect someone pulling out a knife in a public area.

The university's director of Sports AI Laboratory Wilton Fok Wai-tung said: "This new technology can save lives."

"When we developed this technology, we focused on emergency situations and urgent applications in daily life, hoping to provide a more convenient and safe living environment for the public," he said.

The technology uses AI and deep learning to develop an anomaly detection algorithm, by detecting skeleton joint points for estimations of motion and poses, then reporting the abnormal movements.

The technology will be used in children and elderly care facilities, and in swimming pools for drowning alerts.

Child abuse as well as unattended babies can also be detected, and the team is currently testing the technology.

The team is planning on using it at cross road, to extend green light for the vulnerable, including people on wheelchairs. HKU said the system performs with the same accuracy and effectiveness for thermal images, detecting body movements without capturing faces, to protect privacy.

Researchers added that the six-digit price is "competitive" and affordable for many rganizations, and hoped the technology would be adopted across the world.

The AI system won two special grand prizes - Invention & Innovation CAI Award and Prize of the Delegation of Malaysia - and a gold medal at the 48th International Exhibition of Inventions of Geneva this year.

Fok is among 17 HKU research teams who snatched 19 prizes from exhibitions this year.

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