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Wednesday, May 23, 2018
IBM Crypto-Anchor Verifier, an AI-enabled Scanner for Visual Clues that Prove an Item's Authenticity


IBM Researchers have introduced the IBM Crypto Anchor Verifier, a new technology that brings innovations in AI and optical imaging together to help prove the identity and authenticity of objects.

IBM's first client for the new technology is GIA (Gemological Institute of America), which will use it to evaluate and grade diamonds.

The objects and substances we use every day all have their own unique optical patterns, sometimes undetectable by the human eye. These patterns can distinguish an organic ear of corn from a genetically modified one, or identify impurities in diamonds, for example.

Optical characteristics can be measured using light spectrometers, an instrument used to measure properties of light, but they are quite bulky and expensive, limiting their utility. IBM Research recently developed a powerful, portable optical analyzer, small enough to use with a cell phone camera.

AI and machine learning techniques including neural networks and video analytics play an important role in recognizing the optical characteristics of a substance, liquid or object including its color, motion, viscosity and hue saturation.

Models are trained with this data so they can predict the material or constituents of a substance they're presented with.

The power of this invention is transformed when we pair it with software that takes advantage of the computing capabilities of smart phones. The software combines AI trained on optical signatures with image-processing techniques. Together they form IBM's Crypto Anchor Verifier, technology that can scan a substance or object to capture its optical pattern. This paves the way for any number of consumer or enterprise applications.

This technology could be used along with the blockchain technology, an immutable digital ledger that records transactions in a public or private peer-to-peer network. IBM's Crypto Anchor Verifier solution can be used to capture the optical signature from an original, uncompromised item and subsequently record it on the blockchain, which can verify throughout the supply chain that the item hasn't been tampered with. As an example, IBM Crypto Anchor Verifier can be used via the blockchain to track a crate of wine from the time a vintner starts the distribution process to the moment a collector buys it, to confirm it's the same wine that left the vineyard.

GIA is currently testing the Verifier software to apply this innovation to diamond grading by capturing and creating 3D model images of diamonds, analyzing their characteristics and predicting their clarity grade. Today, AI models trained to predict a diamond's grade have performed with accuracy levels (within one grade) of more than 90 percent in the developmental phase using 2D images.



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