Computer, P.I: Can we teach computers to be digital detectives?


Imagine standing on the sidewalk of a busy city street, taking in your surroundings. “When you or I look at that scene, we have a task in mind—whether to find a place to eat or shop, the metro station, or a particular person,” says René Vidal, a Johns Hopkins professor of biomedical engineering. We take into account variables such as lighting, weather, and our angle of view. We’re able to distinguish the guy walking his dog from the suspicious one who seems to be following us. We can tell a car that’s pulling into a parking spot from one about to smash into a building.

For all that computers can do better than humans—from playing the stock markets to figuring out the band behind that song stuck in our head—we still have them beat in at least one important way. “We can filter out information that isn’t relevant, or note information that is out of the ordinary,” Vidal says. “Our question is: How can we get computers to do the same?” READ MORE>>

-Excerpted from Johns Hopkins Magazine, Spring 2018

Vidal is a core faculty member of the Institute for Computational Medicine. The complete article by Paul Pegher can be found here.


JHU - Institute for Computational Medicine