Photographers identified from historical WWII photos using AI

30 Oct 2020

A Finnish soldier stands in front of a seized BA-10 armoured vehicle on 5 September 1941. Image: Heikki Roivainen/ SA-Kuva

This week in future tech, researchers were able to identify the photographers of images from the second world war using AI analysis.

A new international cross-disciplinary study has helped reveal the people behind the camera. Detailing their findings to IEEE Access, researchers used AI to analyse thousands of historical photos from the second world war.

The photographs used in the study are part of the publicly available Finnish Wartime Photograph Archive, containing around 160,000 photographs taken between 1939 and 1945. Among other discoveries, the most notable ability of the AI was that it could identify photographers based on the content of images they had taken.

“We were quite surprised by the accuracy with which the AI can recognise photographers based on characteristics in the photos, such as content and framing,” said Alexandros Iosifidis, an associate professor and expert in AI at Aarhus University.

The AI was able to show that some photographers have very distinct and recognisable characteristics, while others were more difficult for the AI to recognise. On average, the AI model achieved a classification accuracy of 41.1pc, the researchers said.

Honeywell unveils 10-qubit H1 quantum computer

In the race to develop a commercially viable quantum computer, Honeywell has announced its latest offering, dubbed the H1. It comes with 10 fully connected qubits and a quantum volume of 128, which the company claimed is the highest measured in the industry.

It’s being made available to businesses via the cloud, as well as through Microsoft Azure Quantum, and alongside channel partners including Zapata Computing and Cambridge Quantum Computing.

“Honeywell’s unique methodology enables us to systematically and continuously ‘upgrade’ the H1 generation of systems through increased qubit count, even higher fidelities and unique feature modifications,” said Tony Uttley, president of Honeywell Quantum Solutions.

Offering an analogy, he added: “Imagine if the streaming service to which you subscribed became twice as good in a few weeks, 10 times as good in a few months and thousands of times better in a few quarters.”

Car parts made from gas and rice showcased by SEAT

Spanish automaker SEAT unveiled a number of new concepts at its second Innovation Day this week. As part of its efforts to drive down emissions in vehicle production, it revealed car parts made from gas and rice to achieve vehicles with less plastic.

The latter, referred to as Oryzite, is a project to use some of the 140m tonnes of rice husks discarded globally each year within the linings of the SEAT Leon. The company is testing this material, modelling some parts of the car such as the rear hatch lining, the double load floor of the boot or the ceiling headliner with rice husks mixed with polyurethanes and polypropylenes.

SEAT said that at first glance, these parts do not differ from those made with conventional technology and weigh much less.

The company also discussed Ku-Fizz, a physical foam technology that reduces the weight of plastic parts. The process introduces gas into the injected parts to generate a foamy structure in their interior. In this way, SEAT said less plastic and injection material is used, lightening the weight of these parts and reducing the carbon footprint, production times and costs.

Digital identity apps to exceed 6.2bn by 2025

A new study from Juniper Research has estimated that the number of digital identity apps in use will exceed 6.2bn in 2025, up from more than 1bn in 2020.

The market research firm said that civic identity apps, where government-issued identities are held in an app, will account for almost 90pc of digital identity apps installed globally in 2025. This will be driven by the increasing use of civic identity in emerging markets and the lasting impact of the pandemic.

Blockchain is also expected to play a significant role in the adoption of digital identities, with blockchain-based third-party digital identity apps accounting for 16pc of all installed third-party identity apps in 2025.

“Civic identity apps have come into their own as a way to boost digital financial participation, particularly in emerging economies,” said research co-author Nick Maynard. “Post-pandemic, this capability will be crucial in enabling increased digital engagement.”

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Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic