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Computer Program Looks Five Minutes Into the Future

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Robot peering around a corner.

Researchers at the University of Bonn in Germany have developed software that can predict actions up to five minutes into the future.


Self-learning software developed by researchers at the University of Bonn in Germany can predict actions five minutes into the future by first learning typical sequences of events from video footage, and then predicting actions to follow in new situations.

The ultimate goal is to predict, minutes or hours in advance, the timing and duration of activities, says Bonn's Jurgen Gall.

The computer was trained on 40 culinary tutorial videos that each contained about 20 different actions, as well as exact details of what time the action began and its duration.

Gall says the team presented the software with videos it had not seen previously, telling it each video represented the first 20% to 30% of an activity, and instructing the program to predict the rest.

"Accuracy was over 40% for short forecast periods, but then dropped the more the algorithm had to look into the future," he notes.

From University of Bonn (Germany)
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