Scientists from the University of Wisconsin–Madison have found a way to create artificially intelligent glass that can recognize images without any need for sensors, circuits, or even a power source — and it could one day save your phone’s battery life.
In a proof-of-concept study, the researchers describe how they made a sheet of “smart” glass that could identify handwritten digits.
The glass artificial intelligence uses light to recognise and distinguish between images. What’s more, the glass AI doesn’t need to be powered to operate.
The proof-of-principle glass AI can distinguish between handwritten single digit numbers.
It can also recognise, in real time, when a number it is presented with changes – for instance, when a 2 is altered to an 8.
The AI works by taking advantage of small bubbles deliberately incorporated into the glass, as well as embedded impurities such as graphene.
As the light waves reflected off the handwritten numbers pass through the glass AI, they are bent in specific ways by the bubbles and impurities.
This bending process focuses the light onto one of ten specific spots on the other side of the glass, depending on the number presented. The ten spots then correspond to the digits 0 to 9.
“It is like a key and a lock. The impurities basically act as artificial neurons.”
The glass can be used as a biometric lock, tuned to recognize only one person’s face (like in face recognition tech). Once built, it would last forever without needing power or internet, meaning it could keep something safe for you even after thousands of years.
Reference- New Scientist, Futurism, Photonics Research Journal