Artificial intelligence used to predict whether your next selfie could be your last

algorithm selfie death car
Death by selfie sounds like a scene from one of the Final Destination movies but, apparently, it’s actually a thing.

In 2014, 15 people died while snapping a selfie, followed by 39 people in 2015, and 73 in the first eight months of 2016. So what, if anything, can be done about this escalating trend? That’s what a new research project carried out by researchers in India wants to find out.

“There was a news article that was circulated in my research group about a death by selfie during summer 2016,” Ponnurangam Kumaraguru, a professor at Indraprastha Institute of Information Technology in Delhi, told Digital Trends. “I was disturbed by reading it, exchanged some emails on this topic and found little work — especially from a technology standpoint — [had been carried out]. Our group is always interested in working on topics, technologies, solutions and systems that have real-world impact, so we jumped on it.”

The researchers started by tracking down records of all selfie-related deaths since March 2014, and the various causes of these deaths — ranging from falls to drownings to weapon-related injuries to train-related fatalities. They discovered that more than half of all selfie deaths (76) take place in India, followed by Pakistan (9), the U.S. (8) and Russia (6).

They then trained an artificial intelligence system to look at 3,155 annotated selfies collected on Twitter and give a prediction of whether or not a selfie was likely dangerous or not.

This was based on a range of factors, such as whether the photo was taken from a significant height, close to train tracks, or in other possibly dangerous settings. According to a paper published about the research, the system has 73 percent accuracy when it comes to looking at a selfie and saying whether or not it is potentially dangerous.

“One of the directions that we are working on is to have the camera give the user information about [whether or not a particular location is] dangerous, with some score attached to it,” Kumaraguru continued.

Whether or not we’re anywhere close to your iPhone camera app telling you when you are and are not safe to take a photo remains to be seen. However, this is an interesting research project that explores a previously unexamined (and very 21st century) topic.

Emerging Tech

Trippy VR demo reads your brain waves to create sleep-inducing visuals

Struggle to get to sleep? Researchers in Australia have been experimenting with ways to combine a person’s brain activity with virtual reality to create a kind of VR lullaby machine.
Home Theater

The best Dolby Atmos movies for your home theater, from Us to Infinity War

If you've got your hands on some sweet Dolby Atmos gear, the next step is to find films that take advantage of it. These are our picks in several genres for the best Dolby Atmos movies currently available on Blu-ray and streaming services.

Keep a closer eye (or ear) on your little bean with these baby monitor deals

Whether you’re after a Wi-Fi-connected baby IP camera or a no-frills two-way audio monitor, we’ve picked out a few baby monitor deals along with some other kid-friendly gadgets to help you keep tabs on the littlest members of your…

Master your LG G8 ThinQ with these handy tips and tricks

The LG G8 ThinQ launched with more than a few cutting-edge features. It has since been discounted, making it a more valuable buy, so we're making sure you get your money's worth with the best LG G8 ThinQ tips and tricks for your new phone.
Emerging Tech

Buying on a budget? Here's all the best tech you can snag for $25 or less

We live in a world where you can get a cheeseburger for $1, a functioning computer for $5, and thousands of HD movies for $10 -- so it stands to reason that you should be able to pick up some pretty sweet gear for $25.
Digital Trends Live

Digital Trends Live: Emoji Day, Apollo 11 broadcast, drone flamethrowers

On this episode of DT Live, we discuss the top stories in tech, including Emoji Day festivities, the extended battery life of the new Nintendo Switch, an Apollo 11 real-time broadcast, and a functional flamethrower attachment for drones.
Emerging Tech

IBM’s Wimbledon-watching A.I. is poised to revolutionize sports broadcasts

IBM has developed a smart A.I. with an appreciation for what makes a great tennis match like the recent epic at Wimbledon. Here's how IBM developed it -- and why tools like it are the future of sport broadcasting.
Emerging Tech

6 questions we have about Elon Musk’s Neuralink brain interface technology

Elon Musk's Neuralink sounds like an exciting leap forward for human-computer relations, but brain implants raise the specter of Black Mirror-esque privacy invasions. We have a few questions about how this would work.

Canadian medical project demonstrates the health care potential of smart homes

A medical project involving smart homes demonstrates the technology's potential in treating mental illness and providing patients with a level of independence previously thought impossible.
Emerging Tech

Implant restores sight in blind patients by beaming images directly to the brain

Engineers have developed a neural implant which could help restore vision for completely blind people by bypassing non-functioning optical nerves and inputting images directly into their brains.

Ride in style with the Xiaomi Mi electric scooter for $97 less post-Prime Day

Scooters started out as a plaything for kids. But now they are larger and have become a common and efficient means to commute, like the Xiaomi Mi electric scooter. It's available on Amazon as a post-Prime Day deal for $97 less.
Emerging Tech

Elon Musk says SpaceX’s Starship can land on the moon by 2021

SpaceX boss Elon Musk said recently that he believes its Starship spacecraft can land on the moon by 2021, adding that he hopes his company can help to build a "permanently occupied lunar base" there.
Emerging Tech

Dark side of the moon: Why lunar landing conspiracies flourish online

Social media platforms seemed lovely at first, places to share dumb jokes and the minutiae of everyday life. Those sites have an underbelly, however, and have been a breeding ground for conspiracy theories.
Emerging Tech

Life after launch: Inside the massive effort to preserve NASA’s space artifacts

The Apollo 11 mission put a man on the moon, but NASA didn’t necessarily preserve every step of the process. Researchers are trying to rescue the history on Earth and on the moon.