Google's 'Omega Man' Street View Solution

Google has come up with a drastic solution to the privacy problem posed by litigious Americans appearing in their Street View scenes: remove every pedestrian from every picture.


(Google Street View vanishing pedestrian)

Google's Street View vans use nine roof-mounted cameras to take regular shots of the scene around them. These are then stitched together to produce a near-seamless panoramic view. But automatically removing people from thousands of varied images, each showing different scenes, is a challenge.

Flores's software first has to detect any pedestrians in a scene. This is done using a standard object-recognition algorithm called implicit shape model (ISM), which was developed at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology. "The idea is to find a rough contour of pedestrians," says Bastian Leibe, a codeveloper of ISM who is now at RWTH Aachen University. Because there is so much variability in human appearance, the algorithm takes a probabilistic approach--looking for similarities between the shapes in images and hundreds of images of pedestrians that it has been trained to recognize.

Once a pedestrian has been identified and cut from an image, the hole left behind has to be filled in. Flores's software does this by using photographs captured before and after the image in question by Google's Street View vans.

The first time that I ever saw an American city in full detail - but without any people in it - was in the 1972 movie classic The Omega Man. Charleton Heston plays the Google Street View driver in this opening scene.


(Heston drives through an empty city)

Via Technology Review.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 8/11/2010)

Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.

| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |

Would you like to contribute a story tip? It's easy:
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add it here.

Comment/Join discussion ( 2 )

Related News Stories - (" Artificial Intelligence ")

LawGeex AI Beats 20 Top Lawyers
'The Law Society has strict rules on the use of pseudo-intelligent software - terrified of putting... its members out of work.' - Greg Egan, 1991.

Still Wondering If You'd Work For A Robot Boss?
'This is all coming to you courtesy of the simstim unit wired into your deck, of course.'

CIMON Space Sidekick For Weary Astronauts
I welcome our floating robotic assistants.

Biomind AI Doctor Mops Floor With Human Doctors
'My aim was just not to lose by too much.' - Human Physician participant.

 

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

 

Current News

Drywall Robot Looking For Sheetrock
Sheetrockers have sure changed since my day.

Ford's Autonomous Cabs 'Transportation As A Service'
'He was glad to crawl into his autocab and close the cover.'

Sex In Driverless Cars?
'...admirable for petting.'

Amazing Kepler Space Telescope Decommissioned By NASA
'Thus it came about that the search for a planetiferous sun... was not unduly prolonged...'

ODYSSEUS Solar-Powered Stratospheric Plane Flies Forever
'The planes flew continuously, twenty-four hours a day...'

Augmented and-or Virtual Reality Shoes From Google
'The auto-treadmill's bumps and gullies matched whatever terrain the goggles showed me...'

Soon, Your Tesla Will Follow You Like A Pet
'... follow him as faithfully as a well-trained hound.'

Chinese Watrix Gait Recognition Watching You Always
'... those pesky gait-recognition cameras.'

FlexPai Foldable Phone By Royole
'...A paper thin polycarbon screen unfurled.'

Oh Yes, We're Building The Rotating Tower In Dubai
'Give me an old-fashioned tetragon on a central pivot every time.'

Bioreactor Helps Legless Frogs Get Their Jump Back
'An alien drug... Used by an insect race... It can repair bones and organs. It can grow new tissue."

Xinhua AI Anchor Puts CGI Face To Automated News
'...a congeries of software agents.'

Wirewax Watching You Watch, Adjusting Your Experience
'He adjusted the n, the r and b knobs, and hopefully anticipated a turn for the better...'

LawGeex AI Beats 20 Top Lawyers
'The Law Society has strict rules on the use of pseudo-intelligent software - terrified of putting... its members out of work.'

ROAM Robotics Skiing Exoskeleton
'The real genius in the design is that you don't have to control the suit; you just wear it...'

MIT Headset Lets You Communicate Without Speaking
'The subvocal read nerve signals, letting her enter words by just beginning to will them...'

More SF in the News Stories

More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.