artificial intelligence vivoka

You will never believe that artificial intelligence… #1

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Can find Waldo in record time.


Do you remember the famous book that presented different paintings with a multitude of characters, each one more zany than the next, and the ultimate goal was to find that famous Waldo and his red sailor shirt ?



Note that the challenge is still relevant today since artificial intelligence is now able to explode your own record (and without resorting to luck of course) with a disconcerting ease. It was on the RedPepper that the idea came about with the creation of « There’s Waldo ». The latter appeared at the moment when the advance of AI is such that it allows to interfere in playful applications.


« There’s Waldo » is a robot built to find Waldo and point at him. The robot arm is controlled by a Raspberry Pi using the PYUARM Python for UARM Metal. Once initialized, the arm should extend and take a picture of the canvas below. He then uses OpenCV to search and extract the faces of the photo.


Matt Reed, the project manager, explains :

“I took all the images on Google Images: 62 separate Waldo’s heads and 45 others with the character’s body. I thought there wouldn’t be enough data to build a solid model, but to my surprise it gives excellent results on Waldo.”


The faces are sent to the Google Auto ML Vision service, which compares them all to the trained Waldo model. If a reliable match of 95% or more is found, the robot arm is asked to extend to the coordinates of the corresponding face and point it. If there are several Charlies in a photo, they will also be indicated.



« There’s Waldo », made a match (a match) in just 4.45 seconds, which is certainly faster than most 5-year-old children (this also counts for older children aged 30 and over). We can admit our defeat on our childhood pleasures, let’s wait and see if an AI can find Sarah Connor so easily.


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