Build 2017: Microsoft wants to use artificial intelligence to make work environment safer

Microsoft is working on a visual recognition software which utilizes multiple cameras around a workplace and identifying people and objects using AI.

Artificial intelligence is going big and Microsoft announced an interesting concept today on the first day of its Build developer conference. The company wants to use AI for safety purposes in workplaces and it showcased how AI can make, for instance, a construction site safer as well as efficient.

Microsoft is working on a visual recognition software which utilizes multiple cameras around a workplace. Connecting the camera feeds with the smart software which includes information about objects and people, the platform will enable businesses to monitor work in real time, enforce policies and even search for people and objects.

Director of commercial communications, Andrea Carl, gave a quick demo of this technology as to how it is implemented. The system combines Azure Stack, Azure Functions, Cognitive Services, and multiple cameras which recognizing more than 27 million per second. The system located a jackhammer placed at a construction site and using a simple command sent via a smartphone saying “Where is a jackhammer.” The object recognition capabilities of the system instantly responds with a message indicating that a jackhammer was available on the site.

Apart from objects it can also monitor employees, new ones, ones that are certified to use a piece of equipment, who handled it most recently, and so on. It does that by scanning faces as different people pick up an item. In case an employee without authorization picks up a particular piece of equipment, a violation notification will be distributed to the concerned head. It can also be used to add new employees instantly as the system is constantly taking pictures around the work place.

Other use cases suggested by Microsoft where this technology could be used included a system to detect chemical spills or to detect when patients moves out of their beds in a hospital.

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