A look at Voxel51, a company using AI to monitor social distancing in real time.

April 14th

Voxel51, a Michigan-based AI video startup, says it has created a Public Distancing Index (PDI) to track whether people follow social distancing guidelines in real time.

The startup is using its proprietary computer vision model to monitor closed circuit livefeeds in several US cities, as well as Dublin, London, Prague and Brighton.

According to their site:

Using our cutting-edge computer vision models and live video streams from some of the most visited streets in the world, the PDI captures the average amount of human activity and social distancing behaviors in major cities over time.

Graphs made from the data include annotations for holidays and local events, from St. Patrick's Day to park closures in New York City, which allow visitors to see how the public behaved during holidays and events while under mandatory lockdown.

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, Voxel51 focused on more traditional computer vision tools, which specialized in recognizing vehicles, people and roads in video and images. Since the virus, though, they've focused on building tools to monitor public behavior.

Voxel51 CEO Jason Corso told Motherboard that they are creating "an aggregate statistical measure with no identifying information at all." The videos and the data his company creates, he claims, from them do not contain personal information about any people in the videos they analyze.