When a disaster or crisis situation strikes, is your business prepared with a recovery plan to enable ongoing operations? With rising conditions of the COVID-19 global pandemic, companies have had to react quickly to protect their businesses, as well as the health and safety of their employees. Through the use of artificial intelligence (AI) tools, businesses have implemented innovative ways of reacting to crisis.
AI Computer Vision for Health and Safety
Object Detection and Face Recognition
At its core, AI Computer Vision's central capability is to extract low resolution features and create a relationship between those and semantic features (i.e. eye brows, eye lashes or other relevant features a human can see) through imagery and video feeds. In such situations as pandemics, the ability to detect objects and recognize faces through AI becomes critical for the health of employees. For example, if an employee tests positive for COVID-19 in a retail environment, utilizing a system to detect faces, as opposed to manually reviewing hours of security footage, can allow employers to understand where and who the infected person interacted with.
In retail environments, there may also be restrictions on the number of people allowed in a certain space when social distancing mandates are in place. You can use AI computer vision feeds to determine headcounts to ensure retailers minimize the number of people inside, rather than dedicating employees to count customers manually at the door. This not only protects the health and safety of customers and employees, but also allows employees to dedicate their time to more critical tasks inside the store.
Computer vision can be added to existing video feed infrastructures. Video feeds in a convenience stores, for example, could have been previously used for understanding customer behavior to optimize layouts based one foot traffic. In a pandemic situation, this infrastructure can be adapted to understand who customers have been in contact with, a critical piece of information if someone is infected.
Autonomous Defect Detection and Categorization
An Indispensable Tool
AI computer vision technology can be implemented in production lines to detect defects on products without human quality controllers. For example, this technology can automatically detect and categorize defects on the edge of a thread of pipe, then analyze and categorize the defect. This tool saves time, money, and increases accuracy of the inspection.
This same technology can be applied to the meat/poultry industry. Imagine a production line of people standing in close quarters, side by side, in a poultry warehouse. If one of those people is infected, the level of spread becomes a major concern, not just for the people in the warehouse, but for the products and for the production line. In this industry, if you can't perform inspection, you can't ship products. Implementing AI computer vision technology in these food production lines ensures business continuity.
A final example of how AI can be used in pandemic response situations is with delivery bots. In times of social distancing, physical contact is limited and delivery bots can be deployed for unique application cases. AI delivery bots can navigate through environments that aren't be pre-mapped, and environments with doorways and access points. Delivery bots can be relevant for sanitizing hospital rooms, delivering food across campuses, or for delivery in a manufacturing environment, all while limiting human contact.