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robotic dog
Image: Flickr/Les Chatfield

To people who have a four-legged friend, it’s no doubt that it is an integral part of their lives. The dog moves around the house, steals our food, and sleeps on our bed. But most of the time we don’t know what’s on their mind, how and why they do what they do.

The researchers at the University of Washington have worked out an artificially intelligent system with a goal to make it act like a dog, plan like a dog, and learn their habits.

The AI system is a different approach to computer vision where the focus is not on the subtasks like object identification but on modeling a visually intelligent agent, i.e., how the mind of a dog works.

The researchers attached a bunch of sensors on the legs, tail, and body of a Malamute named Kelp M. Redmon along with an Arduino board and a GoPro camera.

It was to record the actions of the dog in various environments and situations. For instance, what would a dog do if a ball flies past or someone wants to play? How would it use its limbs, avoid obstacles when moving?

Dog AI System DECADE Machine Learning 2

The dataset of ego-centric actions in a dog environment (DECADE) collected after hours of recording was used to train their machine learning-based dog model. The researchers were able to obtain a total of 24,500 video frames with synchronized body position and movement data. Out of these, they used 21,000 to train the AI and rest for validation.

The AI system was assigned a task of predicting a dog’s future movements after analyzing video frames. However, planning like a dog is still more difficult. But the researchers have managed to get satisfactory results.

Learning a dog’s behavior is another task the system has to learn. For instance, where a dog can walk and where it can’t.

The experimental system is still in development and the researchers are yet to introduce the data related to other senses, such as smell. The dataset they currently have belongs to a single dog. Gathering the data from a wide range would help to improve the system over time

An AI capable of making dog-like decisions could help us better understand canine visual intelligence. But may that day never comes when AI takes the jobs of our dog friends as well. They are employed in police departments, as helpers for visually impaired, etc.

Studies like these are important as they could give us an insight of the intelligence level of living beings other than humans. It can be used to study other animals as well.

The researchers have published a paper titled, “Who Let The Dogs Out? Modeling Dog Behavior From Visual Data”.

Via MIT Technology Review

Also Read: MIT Researchers Create ‘AlterEgo’ Headset That Interprets User’s Thoughts
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Aditya Tiwari
When he is not writing for Fossbytes, he is busy eating his daily cheat meal and finding content to binge watch. Please feel free to suggest him some good stuff on Netflix. Reach out at [email protected]