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Tool made by Google worker erases people from live webcam feeds in real time

Google web engineer Jason Mayes has developed a programme using AI that can make individuals invisible from a webcam feed in real-time. The 'Disappearing People' tool works by taking frames from the live-feed, copying them and scanning it for human features.

26th February 2020 | 11:02 AM (IST)
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There is a general belief that government agencies spy on people via their laptop’s in-built webcam, which is why many keep it covered. But Jason Mayes has found a better alternative.

Mayes, who is a Google web engineer, has developed an AI-powered tool that erases people from a live webcam feed without meddling with the rest of the shot.

The tool was created by Mayes using TensorFlow and Javascript to remove people from complex backgrounds in real-time. TensorFlow is a free and open-source framework offered by Google for building machine learning models.

The “people disappearing” tool uses machine learning to learn over time how to artificially create static background imagery, which is free of people in the vicinity. The neural network has been trained to recognize human beings and then delete them from a live webcam feed.

In the demonstration, we can see that the tool isn’t 100% perfect yet, as we can see some portions of him appearing in the ‘after’ video as he walks into the frame. However, we hope that the tool will improve overtime as the neural networks learn more.

Mayes has posted the source code of the tool on Github, and you can try the tool using the code in your browser. What makes the tool an exciting creation is the fact that it works in real-time and can be used to remove people from situations where people appear in surveillance video.

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26th February 2020 | 11:02 AM (IST)
78 views
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