Artificial intelligence can now colorize night vision images

— Raimundo79 /

American researchers have developed and trained an artificial intelligence so that it colors the images captured by infrared devices, thus giving them a more natural rendering.

Improve the rendering of night vision devices

Making it possible to distinguish elements and movements in the dark, night vision cameras and goggles convert the infrared light (which the human eye cannot naturally perceive) in visible light. While this technology is proving crucial to military forces today, it has also proven useful for science and conservation efforts, such as monitoring endangered nocturnal animals.

However, infrared information alone can only produce grayscale images, limiting the readability of the observed environments.

In the context of work published in the journal PLoS One, Andrew Browne and his colleagues from theuniversity of california to irvine took 140 shots of different faces using a camera capable of detecting both visible light and part of the infrared spectrum. The team then trained a neural network to spot correlations between how objects appeared in the infrared and their color in the visible spectrum.

Artificial intelligence can now colorize night vision images

Once trained, theAI was able to predict the visible color of pure infrared images, including those taken in total darkness.

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Schematic representation of how AI uses information from infrared and visible light to colorize grayscale images — © Andrew W. Browne et al. / PLoS One 2022

Towards even more precise color evaluation

Although infrared images processed using this process are difficult to distinguish from their color counterparts, Browne concedes that the scope of this project is limited to faces, and that theAI must first be trained on a wide range of different scenes and objects so that devices capable of exploiting it can one day offer credible real-time rendering.

With a large enough variety of data to train the neural network and improve its accuracy, I believe this technology could be used for even more accurate color assessment. “says the scientist.

According to Adrian Hiltonof the’university of surrey (UK), I’AI is the ideal solution for spotting any correlation between what is observed in the visible spectrum and what can be picked up in the infrared, but its choice of colors will always be a guess rather than an accurate inference based on evidence.

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Artificial intelligence can now colorize night vision images

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