Laboratory of Pattern Recognition and Machine Learning
Daily Life with Elves
How will we co-exist with increasingly intelligent robots and artificial intelligence? One answer is to use them as tools to enrich our lives. We call this kind of idea “Elven IT”, where we use IT to protect us while we enjoy life. There are three conditions for IT to be elves:
- Normally the elves should not be visible.
- They should appear when necessary.
- They should provide the necessary services.
Such ideas have a long history: they originally appeared with the name of “smart homes”, before being known as “ambient intelligence” and appearing again in the present-day Internet of Things (IoT). In smart homes, the goal was to develop sensors to place throughout the home and use them to help with daily life. The target shifted to protection and services in ambient intelligence, while IoT focuses on new sensing technologies and connecting each individual device to the Internet. Our Elven IT is similar to ambient intelligence, with the major difference that the above conditions prevent the IT devices from interfering with daily life.
We created the first pressure-sensitive chair that aunthenticates the person sitting in it. We developed a system using ceiling-mounted infrared sensors that constantly monitors where a resident is located, while taking privacy concerns into account. We use this to identify when elderly residents living alone have fallen and analyze other aspects of their daily life. We also develop theory and software for high speed, high performance pattern recognition, needed to identify individuals. This includes the world’s fastest system for identifying nearest-neighbors when a (sufficiently small) error rate is allowed.
The video below is a demo for fun. It was made by student volunteers in a few days in respond to professor’s request.