- The Washington Times - Monday, April 16, 2018

The U.S. Army can now run artificial intelligence programs that allow facial recognition technology to work in the dark.

Thermal imaging coupled with A.I. technology in the hands of military researchers has resulted in a breakthrough reminiscent of the 1987’s action film “Predator.” Drs. Benjamin S. Riggan, Nathaniel J. Short and Shuowen “Sean” Hu of U.S. Army Research Laboratory developed algorithms that can discern a man’s identity using heat signatures.

“This technology enables matching between thermal face images and existing biometric face databases/watch lists that only contain visible face imagery,” Mr. Riggan, a research scientist, told ARL Public Affairs on Monday. “The technology provides a way for humans to visually compare visible and thermal facial imagery through thermal-to-visible face synthesis.”

Details of the technological advancement were presented to researchers in March at the IEEE Winter Conference on Applications of Computer Vision, or WACV, in Lake Tahoe, Nevada.

“Researchers showcased a near real-time demonstration of this technology,” ARL reported. “The proof of concept demonstration included the use of a FLIR Boson 320 thermal camera and a laptop running the algorithm in near real-time. This demonstration showed the audience that a captured thermal image of a person can be used to produce a synthesized visible image [on site].”

Scientists overcame thermal-imaging obstacles with techniques used by “deep neural networks.”

“The fundamental approach is composed of two key parts: a non-linear regression model that maps a given thermal image into a corresponding visible latent representation and an optimization problem that projects the latent projection back into the image space,” ARL reported.

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