It’s a situation we’ve all run into: you start working at a new company, and you are immediately introduced to a multitude of new people. Within minutes, you have forgotten all of their names, leading to awkwardness in the break room and conference room. Before you get fired for offending Karen in HR, you’re going to have to start calling people by their names. Fortunately, Ahad Cove has come up with a solution, and all you have to do is carry around a gigantic Infinity Stone.
Unlike the Infinity Stones from the Marvel Cinematic Universe, this “Name Stone” is roughly the size of an overfed cat. It does, however, provide three useful features to help you remember the names of people you meet — and have compiled a large amount of training data for. The Name Stone can work with video, audio, or just by listing names. All of the functions are controlled by voice, which ensures the device is inconspicuous for covert use.
The video function looks at whoever is currently in the frame, and then uses a machine learning model to determine who they are. Once it does, it will speak the name aloud. The audio function works in a similar way, but instead listens to whoever is speaking. The final function was originally intended to work with a compass to say the name of whoever sits at the desk that the Name Stone is pointing at. But the compass failed, so Cove changed it to simply run through a list of names until the user identifies the right one.
While the Name Stone is, of course, a silly project, it does utilize some impressive technology. The method Cove came up with for generating training data for the machine learning model was particularly clever. Instead of snapping thousands of pictures, he took video of each person while moving the camera. The individual frames from the video were then extracted and used to train the model. The audio training data was gathered by recording people speaking, and then breaking those recordings down into chunks.
This machine learning model, along with the speech recognition and speech synthesis software, are all running on an NVIDIA Jetson Nano. That is a small single-board computer with a powerful GPU designed specifically for artificial intelligence applications. It, along with the camera, battery pack, and other hardware, are housed within a large 3D-printed frame designed to look similar to the Eye of Agamotto that Dr. Strange wears. The Name Stone may not be entirely practical, but it is certainly a very cool device.
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Author: Cameron Coward