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Before Eyes Open, They Get Ready to See
- Spontaneous retinal waves can generate long-range horizontal connectivity in visual cortex. - A KAIST research team’s computational simulations demonstrated that the waves of spontaneous neural activity in the retinas of still-closed eyes in mammals develop long-range horizontal connections in the visual cortex during early developmental stages. This new finding featured in the August 19 edition of Journal of Neuroscience as a cover article has resolved a long-standing puzzle for understanding visual neuroscience regarding the early organization of functional architectures in the mammalian visual cortex before eye-opening, especially the long-range horizontal connectivity known as “feature-specific” circuitry. To prepare the animal to see when its eyes open, neural circuits in the brain’s visual system must begin developing earlier. However, the proper development of many brain regions involved in vision generally requires sensory input through the eyes. In the primary visual cortex of the higher mammalian taxa, cortical neurons of similar functional tuning to a visual feature are linked together by long-range horizontal circuits that play a crucial role in visual information processing. Surprisingly, these long-range horizontal connections in the primary visual cortex of higher mammals emerge before the onset of sensory experience, and the mechanism underlying this phenomenon has remained elusive. To investigate this mechanism, a group of researchers led by Professor Se-Bum Paik from the Department of Bio and Brain Engineering at KAIST implemented computational simulations of early visual pathways using data obtained from the retinal circuits in young animals before eye-opening, including cats, monkeys, and mice. From these simulations, the researchers found that spontaneous waves propagating in ON and OFF retinal mosaics can initialize the wiring of long-range horizontal connections by selectively co-activating cortical neurons of similar functional tuning, whereas equivalent random activities cannot induce such organizations. The simulations also showed that emerged long-range horizontal connections can induce the patterned cortical activities, matching the topography of underlying functional maps even in salt-and-pepper type organizations observed in rodents. This result implies that the model developed by Professor Paik and his group can provide a universal principle for the developmental mechanism of long-range horizontal connections in both higher mammals as well as rodents. Professor Paik said, “Our model provides a deeper understanding of how the functional architectures in the visual cortex can originate from the spatial organization of the periphery, without sensory experience during early developmental periods.” He continued, “We believe that our findings will be of great interest to scientists working in a wide range of fields such as neuroscience, vision science, and developmental biology.” This work was supported by the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF). Undergraduate student Jinwoo Kim participated in this research project and presented the findings as the lead author as part of the Undergraduate Research Participation (URP) Program at KAIST. Figures and image credit: Professor Se-Bum Paik, KAIST Image usage restrictions: News organizations may use or redistribute these figures and image, with proper attribution, as part of news coverage of this paper only. Publication: Jinwoo Kim, Min Song, and Se-Bum Paik. (2020). Spontaneous retinal waves generate long-range horizontal connectivity in visual cortex. Journal of Neuroscience, Available online athttps://www.jneurosci.org/content/early/2020/07/17/JNEUROSCI.0649-20.2020 Profile: Se-Bum Paik Assistant Professor email@example.com http://vs.kaist.ac.kr/ VSNN Laboratory Department of Bio and Brain Engineering Program of Brain and Cognitive Engineering http://kaist.ac.kr Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) Daejeon, Republic of Korea Profile: Jinwoo Kim Undergraduate Student firstname.lastname@example.org Department of Bio and Brain Engineering, KAIST Profile: Min Song Ph.D. Candidate email@example.com Program of Brain and Cognitive Engineering, KAIST (END)
Professor Dongsu Han Named Program Chair for ACM CoNEXT 2020
Professor Dongsu Han from the School of Electrical Engineering has been appointed as the program chair for the 16th Association for Computing Machinery’s International Conference on emerging Networking EXperiments and Technologies (ACM CoNEXT 2020). Professor Han is the first program chair to be appointed from an Asian institution. ACM CoNEXT is hosted by ACM SIGCOMM, ACM's Special Interest Group on Data Communications, which specializes in the field of communication and computer networks. Professor Han will serve as program co-chair along with Professor Anja Feldmann from the Max Planck Institute for Informatics. Together, they have appointed 40 world-leading researchers as program committee members for this conference, including Professor Song Min Kim from KAIST School of Electrical Engineering. Paper submissions for the conference can be made by the end of June, and the event itself is to take place from the 1st to 4th of December. Conference Website: https://conferences2.sigcomm.org/co-next/2020/#!/home (END)
Object Identification and Interaction with a Smartphone Knock
(Professor Lee (far right) demonstrate 'Knocker' with his students.) A KAIST team has featured a new technology, “Knocker”, which identifies objects and executes actions just by knocking on it with the smartphone. Software powered by machine learning of sounds, vibrations, and other reactions will perform the users’ directions. What separates Knocker from existing technology is the sensor fusion of sound and motion. Previously, object identification used either computer vision technology with cameras or hardware such as RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) tags. These solutions all have their limitations. For computer vision technology, users need to take pictures of every item. Even worse, the technology will not work well in poor lighting situations. Using hardware leads to additional costs and labor burdens. Knocker, on the other hand, can identify objects even in dark environments only with a smartphone, without requiring any specialized hardware or using a camera. Knocker utilizes the smartphone’s built-in sensors such as a microphone, an accelerometer, and a gyroscope to capture a unique set of responses generated when a smartphone is knocked against an object. Machine learning is used to analyze these responses and classify and identify objects. The research team under Professor Sung-Ju Lee from the School of Computing confirmed the applicability of Knocker technology using 23 everyday objects such as books, laptop computers, water bottles, and bicycles. In noisy environments such as a busy café or on the side of a road, it achieved 83% identification accuracy. In a quiet indoor environment, the accuracy rose to 98%. The team believes Knocker will open a new paradigm of object interaction. For instance, by knocking on an empty water bottle, a smartphone can automatically order new water bottles from a merchant app. When integrated with IoT devices, knocking on a bed’s headboard before going to sleep could turn off the lights and set an alarm. The team suggested and implemented 15 application cases in the paper, presented during the 2019 ACM International Joint Conference on Pervasive and Ubiquitous Computing (UbiComp 2019) held in London last month. Professor Sung-Ju Lee said, “This new technology does not require any specialized sensor or hardware. It simply uses the built-in sensors on smartphones and takes advantage of the power of machine learning. It’s a software solution that everyday smartphone users could immediately benefit from.” He continued, “This technology enables users to conveniently interact with their favorite objects.” The research was supported in part by the Next-Generation Information Computing Development Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea funded by the Ministry of Science and ICT and an Institute for Information & Communications Technology Promotion (IITP) grant funded by the Ministry of Science and ICT. Figure: An example knock on a bottle. Knocker identifies the object by analyzing a unique set of responses from the knock, and automatically launches a proper application or service.
Flexible User Interface Distribution for Ubiquitous Multi-Device Interaction
< Research Group of Professor Insik Shin (center) > KAIST researchers have developed mobile software platform technology that allows a mobile application (app) to be executed simultaneously and more dynamically on multiple smart devices. Its high flexibility and broad applicability can help accelerate a shift from the current single-device paradigm to a multiple one, which enables users to utilize mobile apps in ways previously unthinkable. Recent trends in mobile and IoT technologies in this era of 5G high-speed wireless communication have been hallmarked by the emergence of new display hardware and smart devices such as dual screens, foldable screens, smart watches, smart TVs, and smart cars. However, the current mobile app ecosystem is still confined to the conventional single-device paradigm in which users can employ only one screen on one device at a time. Due to this limitation, the real potential of multi-device environments has not been fully explored. A KAIST research team led by Professor Insik Shin from the School of Computing, in collaboration with Professor Steve Ko’s group from the State University of New York at Buffalo, has developed mobile software platform technology named FLUID that can flexibly distribute the user interfaces (UIs) of an app to a number of other devices in real time without needing any modifications. The proposed technology provides single-device virtualization, and ensures that the interactions between the distributed UI elements across multiple devices remain intact. This flexible multimodal interaction can be realized in diverse ubiquitous user experiences (UX), such as using live video steaming and chatting apps including YouTube, LiveMe, and AfreecaTV. FLUID can ensure that the video is not obscured by the chat window by distributing and displaying them separately on different devices respectively, which lets users enjoy the chat function while watching the video at the same time. In addition, the UI for the destination input on a navigation app can be migrated into the passenger’s device with the help of FLUID, so that the destination can be easily and safely entered by the passenger while the driver is at the wheel. FLUID can also support 5G multi-view apps – the latest service that allows sports or games to be viewed from various angles on a single device. With FLUID, the user can watch the event simultaneously from different viewpoints on multiple devices without switching between viewpoints on a single screen. PhD candidate Sangeun Oh, who is the first author, and his team implemented the prototype of FLUID on the leading open-source mobile operating system, Android, and confirmed that it can successfully deliver the new UX to 20 existing legacy apps. “This new technology can be applied to next-generation products from South Korean companies such as LG’s dual screen phone and Samsung’s foldable phone and is expected to embolden their competitiveness by giving them a head-start in the global market.” said Professor Shin. This study will be presented at the 25th Annual International Conference on Mobile Computing and Networking (ACM MobiCom 2019) October 21 through 25 in Los Cabos, Mexico. The research was supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF) (CNS-1350883 (CAREER) and CNS-1618531). Figure 1. Live video streaming and chatting app scenario Figure 2. Navigation app scenario Figure 3. 5G multi-view app scenario Publication: Sangeun Oh, Ahyeon Kim, Sunjae Lee, Kilho Lee, Dae R. Jeong, Steven Y. Ko, and Insik Shin. 2019. FLUID: Flexible User Interface Distribution for Ubiquitous Multi-device Interaction. To be published in Proceedings of the 25th Annual International Conference on Mobile Computing and Networking (ACM MobiCom 2019). ACM, New York, NY, USA. Article Number and DOI Name TBD. Video Material: https://youtu.be/lGO4GwH4enA Profile: Prof. Insik Shin, MS, PhD firstname.lastname@example.org https://cps.kaist.ac.kr/~ishin Professor Cyber-Physical Systems (CPS) Lab School of Computing Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) http://kaist.ac.kr Daejeon 34141, Korea Profile: Sangeun Oh, PhD Candidate email@example.com https://cps.kaist.ac.kr/ PhD Candidate Cyber-Physical Systems (CPS) Lab School of Computing Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) http://kaist.ac.kr Daejeon 34141, Korea Profile: Prof. Steve Ko, PhD firstname.lastname@example.org https://nsr.cse.buffalo.edu/?page_id=272 Associate Professor Networked Systems Research Group Department of Computer Science and Engineering State University of New York at Buffalo http://www.buffalo.edu/ Buffalo 14260, USA (END)
Anti-drone Technology for Anti-Terrorism Applications
(from top right clockwise: Professor Yongdae Kim, PhD Candidates Yujin Kwon, Juhwan Noh, Hocheol Shin, and Dohyun Kim) KAIST researchers have developed anti-drone technology that can hijack other drones by spoofing its location using fake GPS signals. This technology can safely guide a drone to a desired location without any sudden change in direction in emergency situations, and thus respond effectively to dangerous drones such as those intending to carry out acts of terrorism. Advancements in the drone industry have led to the wider use of drones in our daily lives in areas of reconnaissance, searching and rescuing, disaster prevention and response, and delivery services. At the same time, there has also been a growing concern about privacy, safety, and security issues regarding drones, especially those arising from intrusion into private property and secure facilities. Therefore, the anti-drone industry is rapidly expanding to detect and respond to this possible drone invasion. The current anti-drone systems used in airports and other key locations utilize electronic jamming signals, high-power lasers, or nets to neutralize drones. For example, drones trespassing on airports are often countered with simple jamming signals that can prevent the drones from moving and changing position, but this may result in a prolonged delay in flight departures and arrivals at the airports. Drones used for terrorist attacks – armed with explosives or weapons – must also be neutralized a safe distance from the public and vital infrastructure to minimize any damage. Due to this need for a new anti-drone technology to counter these threats, a KAIST research team led by Professor Yongdae Kim from the School of Electrical Engineering has developed technology that securely thwarts drones by tricking them with fake GPS signals. Fake GPS signals have been used in previous studies to cause confusion inside the drone regarding its location, making the drone drift from its position or path. However, such attack tactics cannot be applied in GPS safety mode. GPS safety mode is an emergency mode that ensures drone safety when the signal is cut or location accuracy is low due to a fake GPS signals. This mode differs between models and manufacturers. Professor Kim’s team analyzed the GPS safety mode of different drone models made from major drone manufacturers such as DJI and Parrot, made classification systems, and designed a drone abduction technique that covers almost all the types of drone GPS safety modes, and is universally applicable to any drone that uses GPS regardless of model or manufacturer. The research team applied their new technique to four different drones and have proven that the drones can be safely hijacked and guided to the direction of intentional abduction within a small margin of error. Professor Kim said, “Conventional consumer drones equipped with GPS safety mode seem to be safe from fake GPS signals, however, most of these drones are able to be detoured since they detect GPS errors in a rudimentary manner.” He continued, “This technology can contribute particularly to reducing damage to airports and the airline industry caused by illegal drone flights.” The research team is planning to commercialize the developed technology by applying it to existing anti-drone solutions through technology transfer.” This research, featured in the ACM Transactions on Privacy and Security (TOPS) on April 9, was supported by the Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) and the Agency for Defense Development (ADD). Image 1. Experimental environment in which a fake GPS signal was produced from a PC and injected into the drone signal using directional antennae Publication: Juhwan Noh, Yujin Kwon, Yunmok Son, Hocheol Shin, Dohyun Kim, Jaeyeong Choi, and Yongdae Kim. 2019. Tractor Beam: Safe-hijacking of Consumer Drones with Adaptive GPS Spoofing. ACM Transactions on Privacy and Security. New York, NY, USA, Vol. 22, No. 2, Article 12, 26 pages. https://doi.org/10.1145/3309735 Profile: Prof. Yongdae Kim, MS, PhD email@example.com https://www.syssec.kr/ Professor School of Electrical Engineering Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) http://kaist.ac.kr Daejeon 34141, Korea Profile: Juhwan Noh, PhD Candidate firstname.lastname@example.org PhD Candidate System Security (SysSec) Lab School of Electrical Engineering Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) http://kaist.ac.kr Daejeon 34141, Korea (END)
AI ｜QC ITRC Opens at KAIST
(from left: Dean of College of Engineering Jong-Hwan Kim, Director of AI│QC ITRC June-Koo Rhee, Vice President for R&DB Heekyung Park and Director General for Industrial Policy Hong Taek Yong) Artificial Intelligence｜The Quantum Computing Information Technology Research Center (AI｜QC ITRC) opened at KAIST on October 2. AI｜QC ITRC, established with government funding, is the first institute specializing in quantum computing. Three universities (Seoul National University, Korea University, and Kyung Hee University), and four corporations, KT, Homomicus, Actusnetworks, and Mirae Tech are jointly participating in the center. Over four years, the institute will receive 3.2 billion KRW of research funds. Last April, KAIST selected quantum technology as one of its flagship research areas. AI｜QC ITRC will dedicate itself to developing quantum computing technology that provides the computability required for human-level artificial intelligence. It will also foster leaders in related industries by introducing industry-academic educational programs in graduate schools. QC is receiving a great deal of attention for transcending current digital computers in terms of computability. World-class IT companies like IBM, Google, and Intel and ventures including D-Wave, Rigetti, and IonQ are currently leading the industry and investing heavily in securing source technologies. Starting from the establishment of the ITRC, KAIST will continue to plan strategies to foster the field of QC. KAIST will carry out two-track strategies; one is to secure source technology of first-generation QC technology, and the other is to focus on basic research that can preoccupy next-generation QC technology. Professor June-Koo Rhee, the director of AI│QC ITRC said, “I believe that QC will be the imperative technology that enables the realization of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. AIQC ITRC will foster experts required for domestic academia and industries and build a foundation to disseminate the technology to industries.” Vice President for R&DB Heekyung Park, Director General for Industrial Policy Hong Taek Yong from the Ministry of Science and ICT, Seung Pyo Hong from the Institute for Information & communications Technology Promotion, Head of Technology Strategy Jinhyon Youn from KT, and participating companies attended and celebrated the opening of the AI│QC ITRC.
Three Professors Named KAST Fellows
(Professor Dan Keun Sung at the center) (Professor Y.H. Cho at the center) (Professor K.H. Cho at the center) The Korean Academy of Science and Technology (KAST) inducted three KAIST professors as fellows at the New Year’s ceremony held at KAST on January 12. They were among the 24 newly elected fellows of the most distinguished academy in Korea. The new fellows are Professor Dan Keun Sung of the School of Electrical Engineering, Professor Kwang-Hyun Cho of the Department of Bio and Brain Engineering, and Professor Yong-Hoon Cho of the Department of Physics. Professor Sung was recognized for his lifetime academic achievements in fields related with network protocols and energy ICT. He also played a crucial role in launching the Korean satellites KITSAT-1,2,3 and the establishment of the Satellite Technology Research Center at KAIST. Professor Y.H.Cho has been a pioneer in the field of low-dimensional semiconductor-powered quantum photonics that enables quantum optical research in solid state. He has been recognized as a renowned scholar in this field internationally. Professor K.H.Cho has conducted original research that combines IT and BT in systems biology and has applied novel technologies of electronic modeling and computer simulation analysis for investigating complex life sciences. Professor Cho, who is in his 40s, is the youngest fellow among the newly inducted fellows.
President Shin Reaffirms Innovation Initiatives in New Year Speech
(President Shin and representatives of faculty, students, staff celebrate the New Year in a reception held on January 2 at the auditorium.) The KAIST community gathered to celebrate a fresh start for the year 2018. At the ceremony, held in the auditorium on January 2, members of KAIST community reaffirmed their commitment to be the trailblazers of Korea and beyond through unwavering innovations. President Sung-Chul Shin presented his new vision and plan in his New Year speech, which focused on innovation for enhancing institutional competitiveness and global visibility. He said that as you are the future of KAIST, KAIST is the future of Korea. KAIST’s vision for a better future will have a significant impact on national progress and beyond. He stressed that innovation in the five pillars of education, research, technology commercialization, globalization, and future strategy will further advance the excellence of KAIST. At the ceremony, President Shin also presented the award for ‘the KAISTian of the Year’ to Professor YongKeun Park of the Department of Physics. The annual award recognizes a distinguished professor whose academic accomplishments made the most significant impact. In his New Year speech, President Shin said that the year 2018 will provide an opportunity to take a leap forward for becoming a ‘Global Value Creative, World-Leading University. The Vision 2031 Committee endorsed the five innovation initiatives to fulfill KAIST’s long-term vision and will open its recommendations to the public on March 20. Educational innovation tops the initiatives. President Shin explained that the future of Korea is in the hands of talented individuals in science and technology, emphasizing the need to nurture creative, transdisciplinary talents with the capacity to enhance the social value of science and technology. To this end, KAIST will establish a new undergraduate non-departmental program for transdisciplinary education. This plan will eventually provide students with more options in choosing their major, as well as help students build a strong foundation in basic science and engineering and encourage multidisciplinary approaches. For creating an innovative institutional research infrastructure, KAIST plans to build a Network of Excellence for the Fourth Industrial Revolution (NExFire) for convergence research. The plan of ‘Cross-Generational Collaborative Labs,’ will bring out a new collaboration platform by pairing up senior and junior faculty. President Shin said it will be a stepping stone to extend the spectrum of knowledge without any cessation. For technology commercialization, KAIST will maximize its intellectual property and economic value by stimulating technology-invested companies and startups. Close cooperation with venture capitalists at home and abroad will further accelerate the commercialization drive at KAIST. Saying that the globalization is no long an option but a necessity, he stressed KAIST will strengthen its efforts to established a bilingual campus. “KAIST will make every effort to create a more welcoming and comfortable atmosphere for the international community and their families. We will expand benefits to our international community, such as access to the KAIST Child Care Center and collaboration with the Taejon Christian International School (TCIS),” he said. President Shin added he will further expand global networks and partnerships this year, participating in a diverse range of international events at home and abroad for increasing global visibility. He also said that well-designed future strategies will complete innovation initiatives. The Future Strategy Research Center will serve as a think tank for identifying future agendas, establishing strategies and advocating for them. In addition to the five innovation initiatives, President Shin emphasized a new organizational culture that embraces inclusiveness and mutual respect among all of the members of KAIST. “So far, the ideal qualifications expected of KAISTians have included creativity and a challenging spirit. From now on, we will nurture talents with a focus on the 3Cs: Creativity, Challenge, and Caring. I would like to make a campus in which all members care for each other to help attain mutual growth with warmth and respect," he said. For the full text, Click
MoU by KAIST-Seoul-Seocho-gu for the 4th Industrial Revolution
The opening ceremony of the Yangjae R&CD Innovation Hub was held in Seoul on December 5. More than 400 guests came to the ceremony from major institutes and companies that are based in the hub. KAIST President Sung-Chul Shin, the Mayor of Seoul, Won-soon Park, and the Mayor of Seocho-gu, Eun Hee Cho, signed an MoU for Seoul to be the leading city for successfully realizing the Fourth Industrial Revolution. The three organizations aim to cooperate with one another in various areas, including an economic boost for local job creation, technology development, and the promotion of projects through an industry-academia-institute network and fostering manpower. Yangjae R&CD is the first facility specializing in and dedicated for Artificial Intelligence, which is the major topic of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. The hub is comprised of enterprises specializing in AI, open co-work spaces, conference rooms, an open networking lounge, and spaces for fostering professional manpower. The hub will recruit additional enterprises and individuals who wish to move in. KAIST, an institute containing professors and researchers in the field of AI, and Modulabs, an organization becoming distinguished in AI research, will be in charge of operating the facility together. The Yangjae R&CD Innovation Hub will operate a professional training program with participation from KAIST professors, which aims to produce 500 professionals in AI research and development by 2020. It will also provide inexpensive space as well as consultations and venture capital to startup and venture companies. It plans to find and foster 50 innovation companies by 2020. In particular, the hub will operate a course for new AI business models 24 times over three years. The hub also offers job consultations, academic conferences, public space for companies residing in the hub, a free GPU cluster server, technical training, seminars, forums, investment attraction, overseas expansion, and one-to-one technical consultations. The Yangjae R&CD Zone is the place established for the Fourth Industrial Revolution by Seoul. R&CD is a concept combining Research and Development, Connection, Companies, Community, and Culture. Seoul aims to create the Yangjae Zone as an urban innovation hub for facilitating industry-academia linkage as well as establishing a startup-settlement-growth technical ecosystem.
Professor Dong Ho Cho Awarded at the Haedong Conference 2017
Professor Dong Ho Cho of the School of Electrical Engineering at KAIST received an award at the 13th Haedong Conference 2017 in Seoul on the first of December. The Korean Institute of Communications and Information Sciences recognized Professor Cho for his significant contributions in the field of mobile communication networks. He has carried out groundbreaking research on mobile systems, including architecture, protocols, algorithms, optimization, and efficiency analysis. As a result, he has produced 73 papers in renowned international journals, 138 papers at international conferences, and filed 52 international patents and 121 domestic patents. In addition, he transferred 14 of the patents he filed to Korean and international companies.
WEF-KAIST to Host a Forum Next April in Korea
(President Shin poses with Chairman Schwab at the meeting in Dubai) President Sung-Chul Shin and Executive Chairman Klaus Schwab of the World Economic Forum agreed to co-host the Fourth Industrial Revolution Forum next April in Seoul during a meeting at the WEF Global Future Councils 2017 held in Dubai November 11-12. Next April’s forum will be a follow-up event of the roundtable discussion KAIST and the WEF Center for the Fourth Industrial Revolution co-hosted in October in Seoul. The two hosted the roundtable discussion titled “Mastering the Fourth Industrial Revolution: The Future of Jobs and Inclusive Growth in Korea.” During the annual meeting in Dubai, Chairman Schwab expressed his deep appreciation to President Shin for hosting the roundtable discussion and proposed a full-fledged forum in partnership with KAIST once again, which Chairman Schwab will be scheduled to attend. Chairman Schwab emphasized once again that Korea, who has the world’s top high-end technologies such as 5G telecommunications and semiconductor memory, will be the best fit to realize the Fourth Industrial Revolution most rapidly. He also expressed his great interest in the city of Daejeon in which is being considered to become the Special City for the Fourth Industrial Revolution. The Global Future Council of the WEF is the interdisciplinary knowledge network dedicated to promoting innovative thinking on the future. The annual council convenes in Dubai the most relevant and knowledgeable thought leaders from academia, government, business, and civil society to challenge conventional thinking and develop new insights and perspectives on key global systems, as well as the impact and governance of key emerging technologies. This year, more than 850 world-leading experts from 74 countries participated. Under the theme of ‘Vision 2030,’ participants explored systematic changes in key areas such as energy, mobility, and infrastructure while reflecting on the impact of technological breakthroughs in artificial intelligence, biotechnology, and other areas related to the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
Face Recognition System 'K-Eye' Presented by KAIST
Artificial intelligence (AI) is one of the key emerging technologies. Global IT companies are competitively launching the newest technologies and competition is heating up more than ever. However, most AI technologies focus on software and their operating speeds are low, making them a poor fit for mobile devices. Therefore, many big companies are investing to develop semiconductor chips for running AI programs with low power requirements but at high speeds. A research team led by Professor Hoi-Jun Yoo of the Department of Electrical Engineering has developed a semiconductor chip, CNNP (CNN Processor), that runs AI algorithms with ultra-low power, and K-Eye, a face recognition system using CNNP. The system was made in collaboration with a start-up company, UX Factory Co. The K-Eye series consists of two types: a wearable type and a dongle type. The wearable type device can be used with a smartphone via Bluetooth, and it can operate for more than 24 hours with its internal battery. Users hanging K-Eye around their necks can conveniently check information about people by using their smartphone or smart watch, which connects K-Eye and allows users to access a database via their smart devices. A smartphone with K-EyeQ, the dongle type device, can recognize and share information about users at any time. When recognizing that an authorized user is looking at its screen, the smartphone automatically turns on without a passcode, fingerprint, or iris authentication. Since it can distinguish whether an input face is coming from a saved photograph versus a real person, the smartphone cannot be tricked by the user’s photograph. The K-Eye series carries other distinct features. It can detect a face at first and then recognize it, and it is possible to maintain “Always-on” status with low power consumption of less than 1mW. To accomplish this, the research team proposed two key technologies: an image sensor with “Always-on” face detection and the CNNP face recognition chip. The first key technology, the “Always-on” image sensor, can determine if there is a face in its camera range. Then, it can capture frames and set the device to operate only when a face exists, reducing the standby power significantly. The face detection sensor combines analog and digital processing to reduce power consumption. With this approach, the analog processor, combined with the CMOS Image Sensor array, distinguishes the background area from the area likely to include a face, and the digital processor then detects the face only in the selected area. Hence, it becomes effective in terms of frame capture, face detection processing, and memory usage. The second key technology, CNNP, achieved incredibly low power consumption by optimizing a convolutional neural network (CNN) in the areas of circuitry, architecture, and algorithms. First, the on-chip memory integrated in CNNP is specially designed to enable data to be read in a vertical direction as well as in a horizontal direction. Second, it has immense computational power with 1024 multipliers and accumulators operating in parallel and is capable of directly transferring the temporal results to each other without accessing to the external memory or on-chip communication network. Third, convolution calculations with a two-dimensional filter in the CNN algorithm are approximated into two sequential calculations of one-dimensional filters to achieve higher speeds and lower power consumption. With these new technologies, CNNP achieved 97% high accuracy but consumed only 1/5000 power of the GPU. Face recognition can be performed with only 0.62mW of power consumption, and the chip can show higher performance than the GPU by using more power. These chips were developed by Kyeongryeol Bong, a Ph. D. student under Professor Yoo and presented at the International Solid-State Circuit Conference (ISSCC) held in San Francisco in February. CNNP, which has the lowest reported power consumption in the world, has achieved a great deal of attention and has led to the development of the present K-Eye series for face recognition. Professor Yoo said “AI - processors will lead the era of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. With the development of this AI chip, we expect Korea to take the lead in global AI technology.” The research team and UX Factory Co. are preparing to commercialize the K-Eye series by the end of this year. According to a market researcher IDC, the market scale of the AI industry will grow from $127 billion last year to $165 billion in this year. (Photo caption: Schematic diagram of K-Eye system)
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