TIB with geolocalization tool on the MS Wissenschaft: Where does the picture come from?

The floating exhibition ship goes on tour again

Artificial intelligence is the topic on MS Wissenschaft this year // Photo: Ilja Hendel/WiD

Artificial intelligence (AI) – what exactly is that? How do people learn and how do machines learn? Where does AI bring advantages and what are the risks? In the exhibition at the MS Wissenschaft 2019, hands-on exhibits directly from research provide insights into the development and application of artificial intelligence.

For example, the exhibition on board MS Wissenschaft, which runs from 16 May to 3 October 2019, shows how image and speech recognition work. In a quiz, AI professionals and AI novices can test and expand their knowledge of artificial intelligence.

TIB's Visual Analytics Research Group presents geolocalization tool

Under the motto "Where does the picture come from?", the TIB – Leibniz Information Centre for Science and Technology will be present with an exhibit. The "Visual Analytics" research group at the TIB is showing the geolocation estimation tool it has developed, in which man and machine compete against each other and estimate where the photo was taken. It’s usually the computer that wins, defeating its human rivals. But how does it work? It’s all down to artificial intelligence.

TIB’s Visual Analytics Research Group (led by Professor Dr. Ralph Ewerth) conducts research on the topic of visual concept detection, which is the automatic extraction of information from images. The team has developed an innovative method for estimating a photo’s geolocation: a machine learning method based on so-called convolutional neural networks (CNNs) uses not only geographical features, but also contextual information about the scene in the photo to estimate the photo’s geolocation. In this way, the neural network, which mimics neurobiological processes in the human brain, can be trained to recognise specific geographical features for various scenarios such as urban scenes, natural environments or indoor settings.

Identifying fake news with photos

To determine the location of a photo, this AI-based system uses only the image content and no data stored by the camera. First, it detects whether the image was taken in an urban or rural environment or in an indoor environment. Five million training photos help the AI to further narrow down the location of the shot. “With urban images, such features may include buildings or architectural details; in the case of nature scenes, flora and fauna are considered,” stated Prof. Dr. Ewerth, describing the method.

A system like this could help in the future to identify false messages as such. It can already be used to check how credible photos are as a source of information and how likely it is that an image was taken exactly in the region specified.

Colourful programme on MS Wissenschaft

The MS Wissenschaft is a converted inland freight vessel that used to travel on European waterways with coal and containers. Since 2002, the exhibition ship has been sailing across Germany every summer as a floating Science Center during the Science Years. Film evenings, workshops and discussion events take place on the deck of the exhibition ship. From June there will be an exhibition rally for schools.

MS Wissenschaft starts its tour on 16 May 2019 in Berlin and visits 27 cities in Germany until the beginning of October. It will then travel on to Austria.

Selected Stations of MS Wissenschaft

The exhibition is open daily from 10:00 to 19:00.

More information: https://ms-wissenschaft.de/ausstellung/  

Date: 16 May to 3 October 2019
Location: MS Wissenschaft