At first glance, introducing artificial intelligence into inert objects is a concept that seems taken from a science fiction movie. However, it is an advance that could open new frontiers. The reality is that we have already managed to place AI on the screen of our mobile phones so that it recognizes our face. And in the future, a single piece of glass could recognize our face without using any kind of energy. This is stated by a team of engineers from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, led by Zongfu Yu, who have devised a method to create pieces of “intelligent” glass capable of recognizing images without the need for sensors, circuits or energy sources.
“We are using optics to condense the normal configuration of cameras, sensors and deep neural networks into a single piece of glass,” explains Yu in a statement. “This is completely different from the typical route to artificial vision. We could use the glass as a biometric lock, tuned to recognize the face of a single person. Once built, it would last forever without the need for energy or the internet, which means it could keep something safe even after thousands of years.”
In addition, it works literally at the speed of light, because glass distinguishes between different images by distorting light waves.
The results have been published in Photonics Research.
“The true power of this technology,” says Ming Yuan, co-author of the study, “lies in its ability to handle sorting tasks much more complex instantly without any energy consumption. These tasks are the key to creating artificial intelligence: teaching vehicles without a driver to recognize a traffic signal, to allow voice control on consumer devices, among many other examples. ”