Next gen cellphones could identify objects the way the human brain does

A research team in the Weldon School of Biomedical Engineering has created the nn-X chip, which would enable cellphones and other devices to identify objects much as the human brain does.

“Right now computers are not exactly smart at understanding the content of images and videos,” said Eugenio Culurciello, an associate professor at Purdue. “They see numbers, but they don’t know what’s in the picture.”

Using state-of-the-art algorithms and an artificial neural network, the chip can differentiate objects in the same way a human can easily discern a person from a tree.

A car equipped with that technology could tell which part of the scene is a drivable road and not an out-of-bounds sidewalk — drastically improving driver assistance technology and possibly paving the way for advancements in driverless vehicles.