Computer games have long be heralded as having a potentially deadly effect on American culture, stupefying children and rotting their brains with mindless repetitiveness. Now, the Northeastern University is using GPUs – Graphics Processing Units – to help save the world.
Currently, there are two major manufacturers of consumer and commercial GPUs – AMD and NVIDIA. Both have contributed a significant amount to the evolution of graphics technology as a integral part of any computer system and designed innovative ways to render shapes, textures and create immersive and interactive scenes on a variety of game platforms.
In a combined effort between Northeastern University and the University of Virginia, this GPU technology is now being expanded to the real world in the form of photo recognition. The idea here is that because of the processing power in these GPUs, they have an ability to scan and match photographs at a far faster pace that any other technology on the marketplace.
Theoretically, a user could upload a photo to Google Earth with no description, but in a matter of minutes this GPU-based supercomputing app could determine exactly where the photo was taken.
The hope is that in a situation where a bomber or hostage taker chooses to upload a photo of their nefarious plot, the GPU-enhanced app will be able to quickly and easily determine exactly where the photo came from without any other additional information.
This could be extremely useful from a law enforcement perspective as bombers and hostage takers don’t tend to be terribly forthcoming in revealing the details of their nefarious plots.
Obviously, the simple answer for bad guys here will be to stop sending police agencies photos of the bad things they’re going to do, but the idea has excellent merit potential from both a technological and pure use perspective, and has been recognized as such by both AMD and NVIDIA.
Source: Northeastern University