Researchers hope to build universal human age estimator

first_img More information: Bingbing Ni, et al. “Web Image and Video Mining towards Universal and Robust Age Estimator.” IEEE Transactions on Multimedia. DOI:10.1109/TMM.2011.2167317 Explore further Copyright 2011 All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or part without the express written permission of Researcher sees new angles in visual search Citation: Researchers hope to build universal human age estimator (2011, December 5) retrieved 18 August 2019 from The top 10 ranked face instances (left) vs. the bottom 10 ranked face instances (right) for the age labels 0, 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, 60, 70, 80. Image credit: Bingbing Ni, et al. ©2011 IEEE This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. The researchers, Bingbing Ni of the Advanced Digital Sciences Center in Singapore, along with Zheng Song and Shuicheng Yan from the National University of Singapore, have published their study in a recent issue of IEEE Transactions on Multimedia. To begin, the researchers developed an automatic web image and video mining scheme, in which they used age-related search queries to collect nearly 400,000 images from popular image search engines such as Flickr and Google Images as well as 10,000 YouTube video clips. The face images were tagged with ages, and were used to develop a novel learning algorithm for training the system. Although the faces in the video clips were not tagged with ages, the researchers could still use them for training, as they provided the same face at different angles and different lighting conditions.Although there have been several other computerized human age estimators, this system has by far the largest database of facial images compared to the others: after poor-quality images and false alarms were removed, the database contained 77,000 images containing 219,000 faces. In addition, unlike some of the previous smaller databases, the images in this database included faces of people from different racial groups, and had different illumination conditions and different qualities. This diversity gave the system a “universal” capability.A demo video on intelligent advertising using the universal human age estimator. Video credit: Bingbing Ni, et al.“The greatest significance is that, using web-based mining, there is no need to manually construct a face image database, which is quite labor-intensive and costly,” Ni told “And the automatically mined web image database possesses the generalization capability, e.g., models trained on this data can be applied to general faces.”For general image qualities, the model could estimate a person’s age to within an average range of ±5 years. In the future, the researchers hope to further improve the system by minimizing errors, particularly for mediocre image qualities.A computer that can estimate a person’s age, regardless of race or image quality, could have a variety of applications, such as for demographic data collection in supermarkets and other public areas, age-specific human-computer interfaces, and human identification based on old ID photos. Another use, as Ni explains, is age-oriented commercial advertisements.“For example, digital signage applications – installed in shopping malls, vending machines, etc., automatically estimate the customers’ ages and recommend corresponding product advertisements,” he said. ( — As humans, we have a knack for estimating another person’s age quite accurately just by glancing at their face. Although age estimation may seem relatively simple to us, computers have a much more difficult time performing the task. In one of the latest attempts to build a computer that can accurately estimate a person’s age, researchers have taken a bottom-up approach to the challenge, collecting hundreds of thousands of images and videos from the Internet to train the system. Their goal is to build a universal human age estimator that is applicable to all ethnic groups and various image qualities.last_img read more

Botanists suggest Voynich illustrations similar to plants in Mexico

first_img New study suggests Voynich text is not a hoax More information: A Preliminary Analysis of the Botany, Zoology, and Mineralogy of the Voynich Manuscript, HerbalGram, 2013: … 00-feat-voynich.html Explore further ( —A pair of botanists has published a paper in HerbalGram in which they note similarities between plant illustrations in the famed Voynich Manuscript and plant illustrations in old Mexican botanical books and suggest it might mean the Vonyich Manuscript has New World origins. Credit: HerbalGram The Voynich Manuscript is a text (found in 1912 in an Italian monastery by book dealer Wilfred Voynich) believed to have been written in the 15th century (carbon dated to a time between 1404 and 1438) by an unknown author. It’s attracted notice because it’s written in a language that no one has ever been able to decipher despite over a century of trying. Making things even more interesting are illustrations throughout the manuscript that sometimes defy explanation—such as plants that no one has been able to identify. Some experts have suggested that the manuscript is a hoax, created by someone several centuries ago as a lark or ruse, for some unknown purpose. Others suggest the manuscript appears to be real in a sense as it does appear to follow some sort of grammar. In their paper, Arthur Tucker and Rexford Talbert suggest the key to solving the mystery might lie in the illustrations, rather than the text. One section of the manuscript appears to be devoted to botany—words flow across pages decorated with illustrations of mysterious plants. Tucker and Talbert noticed that at least one of the plants in the manuscript reminded them of a plant they’d seen illustrated in an old Mexican botany book. Their interest piqued, they gathered as many such texts as they could find and set to work looking to see if they could match plants in the botany books with those in the Voynich Manuscript. In so doing, they say they have found 37 matches out of the 303 depicted. They also note some matches between six animals and at least one mineral.The two botanists aren’t suggesting their findings prove anything, instead they suggest that perhaps more work ought to be done investigating the possibility that the manuscript was written in old Mexico in an ancient Aztec language such as Nahuatl, which is still actually spoken in some remote parts of Mexico. © 2014 Citation: Botanists suggest Voynich illustrations similar to plants in Mexico (2014, February 5) retrieved 18 August 2019 from This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

Improving the accuracy of longread genome sequencing

first_img More information: Accurate circular consensus long-read sequencing improves variant detection and assembly of a human genome, Nature Biotechnology (2019). DOI: 10.1038/s41587-019-0217-9 Targeting DNA sequencing for plant biodiversity research Journal information: Nature Biotechnology The researchers began their work by noting that the current status quo in DNA sequencing technology allows for sequencing short sequences (short reads) accurately, or long sequences (long reads) less accurately. In this new effort, they sought to improve the accuracy of long-read sequencing. More specifically, they sought to improve the accuracy of a circular consensus sequencing (CCS) technique using single-molecule, real-time (SMRT) sequencing as performed by Pacific Bioscience (PacBio). Most of the team working on the project were from PacBio—other members were from Google, Stanford University, the Max Planck Institute, Saarland University, DNAnexius, NIST, the National Human Genome Research Institute, the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Johns Hopkins University.The CCS technique (which is not considered a long-read technique) currently in use by PacBio involves the use of hairpin adapters, which are ligated onto the ends of DNA molecules to create a template. A polymerase starts at the adapter and moves across the DNA piece, adding bases as it goes, creating the read. The technique also involves moving the polymerase across the DNA bit multiple times. The researchers note that the CCS technique has typically been used with base lengths of 1000 to 2000 bases. By improving the technique, the team was able to read up to 10,000 bases accurately.The researchers report that their improvements were based mostly on improving the quality of DNA used at the start of sequencing. The quality of DNA was improved by starting the reactions before loading the DNA and then waiting for up to an hour—if they found the polymerase was still moving, it had to be of higher quality. They also made sure that the DNA molecules were all of uniform size—they did this by using a SageELF instrument.The team reports that the improved technique generated long reads (averaging 13.5 kilobases) with a 99.9 percent accuracy rate. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. © 2019 Science X Networkcenter_img Credit: CC0 Public Domain Explore further Citation: Improving the accuracy of long-read genome sequencing (2019, August 13) retrieved 18 August 2019 from A team of researchers from institutions in the U.S., Germany and China has developed a way to improve the accuracy of long-read genome sequencing. In their paper published in the journal Nature Biotechnology, the group outlines how they improved an existing technique, and how well it works.last_img read more

Rural youth Govt moves to encourage entrepreneurship

first_imgAfter successful launch of ‘Make in India’ campaign to a give a fillip to dying domestic manufacturing industry, the NDA government under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi is all set to launch Startup Village Entrepreneurship Programme by March this year. The scheme, which is a flagship programme promoted by PM Modi, aims to hone up entrepreneurship skills among rural youths by providing financial assistance as well as training assistance from the Centre. Also Read – Need to understand why law graduate’s natural choice is not legal profession: CJITalking to Millennium Post, Rural Development Secretary LC Goyal informed that the structure of PM’s pet project has almost been finalised after consulting different stakeholders. “The final blue print of the scheme would be sent to the PM for his approval by the end of this month. After getting sanctioned from PM Modi, the project would be rolled out across the country within two months.”Giving details about the proposed scheme, Goyal said, “The scheme would help in providing employment to at least 2 lakh rural youth, which will lessen their dependency on rural job scheme. The Rural Development Ministry has planned a corpus fund of Rs 400 crore for the better implementation of village entrepreneurship programme.” Also Read – Health remains key challenge in India’s development: KovindOn the question of how it will function, the Rural Development Secretary said, “Suitable villages would be identified at every panchayat level and after that youths with entrepreneurship potential would be selected. The selected youths would be trained to hone up skills.”The financial assistance would be provided for opening of kirana stores, flour mills, toy manufacturing units, etc. There are no details about how many numbers of villages would be selected for first phase of this flagship programme, which will first start for the five years, Goyal said, on the sidelines of a press meet organised to spell out the achievements of Rural ministry in the seven months.“Though, it will too early to speculate about the success of village entrepreneurship programme, but one thing is clear that it will add only confusion among rural youths. In the country where there are about 14 lakh villages, such populist schemes would hardly make any impact,” said Madhuresh, a land reform activist.last_img read more

State takes steps to ensure support to farmers during unusual rainfall

first_imgKolkata: The state Agriculture department is taking all necessary steps to ensure that farmers do not face any inconvenience due to unusual rainfall in Birbhum, East Burdwan and a part of Murshidabad district.The Agriculture department came in touch with other concerned departments in this connection and a meeting is scheduled to be held on Wednesday in Birbhum. A meeting for East Burdwan district has already taken place and a similar meeting in Murshidabad district will also be held. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeThough the drizzle due to depression since Monday has brought a little respite to the situation, the state government is eyeing a permanent solution and taking all necessary measures in this regard. According to a senior official of the state Agriculture department, it is always good if the soil remains moist during the harvest of paddy as it ensures a better yield. So steps were taken to extend support to the farmers as soon as unusual rainfall was noticed in different parts of Birbhum, East Burdwan and Murshidabad. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedOn Wednesday’s meeting at Suri in Birbhum, state Agriculture minister Asish Banerjee and Pradip Majumdar, the agriculture advisor to the Chief Minister, will be present in the discussion along with senior representatives from the Zilla Parishad, all the concerned MLAs, senior officials of the state Irrigation department, Power department. It is learnt that the state Irrigation department is leaving no stone unturned to supply water in such areas including Nanoor in Birbhum. The rice mill owners were also directed to supply water from the reservoirs in the mills in such areas and the owners have assured all assistance in this connection. The official said after identification of such areas, the first step is to create the necessary infrastructure so that farmers do not face any problem and decisions in this regard will be taken in the meeting. The meeting for Birbhum district is scheduled on Wednesday and a similar one will be held for Murshidabad as well. However, the schedule of the meeting in Murshidabad district is yet to be finalised. Banerjee said that the endeavour is to create the infrastructure that will also ensure sufficient supply of water not only for paddy cultivation but for other crops as well. It is learnt that Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee was also concerned over the situation and directed concerned officials to take measures in this connection.last_img read more

Dastangoi – from Gandhi to Mahatma

first_imgThe classic Urdu oral storytelling art form of ‘Dastangoi’ intertwined with the defiant poetry of the early 20th century brought alive the journey of Gandhi from ‘Mohandas to Mahatma’ in the national Capital.39-year-old Fouzia Dastango, credited as the first female Dastagoi artiste, presented ‘Dastan-e-Gandhi’ on the life and teachings of Mahatma Gandhi through the dying art form of ‘Dastangoi’ here recently.”The aim of Dastaan-e-Gandhi is to revive the abiding interest in the inspiring story of Mahatma Gandhi using newer ways to involve various stakeholders, including intelligentsia, academia and voluntary organizations to spread Bapu’s Message,” she said. Also Read – Add new books to your shelf”The young generation which is shaping today’s India and who will create the country’s future should be told about his life and his mission, and this is what we are doing,” she explained.’Dastaan-e-Gandhi’ performed by Fouzia and Fazal Rashid touched upon India’s struggle for freedom and Gandhi’s tryst with Satyagraha and his fight against injustice and racism. The event was organised by India International Center in collaboration with Sarvodaya International Trust. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveProfessor Danish Iqbal, who penned the script for the performance, said it was a “mounting challenge” to present the life of Mahatma in an hour format.”There are many facets to Mahatma’s life. It was very challenging to present his life in a ‘Dastangoi’ format. But we focussed on the underlying the message of his life rather than talking about his milestones,” he said. Iqbal, who teaches at Jamia Millia Islamia University here, said many efforts were being taken to revive the art form of ‘Dastangoi’ and that the youth are the torchbearers of such a revival. “‘Dastangoi’ is a simple, yet powerful art form. It is performed by a minimum of two artistes. It does not require the expensive paraphernalia of lights, set and costumes. The art form is now being revived, especially by the young who are creating groups, like in theatre, to take Dastangoi to the masses,” he said.Fouzia, who has been performing ‘Dastangoi’ since the past 8 years, said her cultural roots have found their way back into her work.”I owe my performances to the by-lanes of Old Delhi. It is here that I performed for the first time. Apart from that, the events around me also translate into my work,” she said.The artiste has presented ‘Dastangoi’ on a range of issues, including the languages of Delhi, women issues and those concerning children.Talking about the relevance of Gandhian philosophy in contemporary times, Indira Verma of Sarvodaya International Trust said, “You call it idealism or romanticism, but I have a hope or I must say I am sure, the day will come when Gandhiism will become a reality more than a philosophy which will make this world a better place.” Fouzia said her dream was to perform at the Jama Masjid, where people from all walks of life, can be her audience. She summed up in her classical way of “Chaley Chalo ke Voh Manzil abhi Nahin Aayi (move ahead as the destination is far away)”.last_img read more

Body of 23yearold found hanging at Bishnupur residence

first_imgKolkata: Mystery shrouds the death of a 23-year-old youth whose body was found hanging from the ceiling inside his house in Bishnupur, South 24-Parganas. Police have started a case of unnatural death in this regard. According to the preliminary investigation, police suspect that the victim might have committed suicide after being jilted in love. The victim, Asish Mondal (23), a resident of Joyrampur area might have in depression for the past few days, Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifepolice suspect. On the fateful day, the family members knocked on the door of the victim repeatedly but he did not respond. They reported the matter to the local residents who in turn informed police. Police personnel broke open the door only to find the victim hanging from the ceiling fan. The body was recovered and sent for an autopsy. The investigating officers seized a laptop and a mobile phone from the victim’s room. Police said the victim used to stay at his maternal uncles’ house in South 24-Parganas for the past few months. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedThe family members of the victim told police the victim used to play various games on his mobile phone. He also used to talk to his friends. Cops are yet to ascertain the exact cause behind him committing suicide. According to the preliminary investigation, police suspect that he had a relationship with a girl. The victim’s family members told police that the youth often spoke on phone for nearly an hour during the night. They also heard him talking on phone on Saturday night. Police are investigating if he had taken the drastic step after the girl with whom he had a relationship refused to continue it. Police are waiting for the autopsy report which might throw some light on the death of the victim. The investigating officers are also examining his mobile phone and laptop which might provide clues in this connection.last_img read more

Class VII student dead aunt injured after truck hits bicycle

first_imgKolkata: A student of Class VII, who was riding on a bicycle as a pillion with his aunt, was killed after being hit by a speeding truck. The victim’s aunt sustained serious injuries and is undergoing treatment at a local hospital.The incident occurred near Padmapukur area of Baruipur in South 24-Parganas on Saturday morning. Police said the victim, Imran Sardar (11), was returning home on his aunt’s bicycle at around 9 am when a truck hit them from behind. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeSardar died on the spot while his aunt received several injuries in various parts of her body. The truck driver and helper fled the spot immediately after the accident happened leaving the vehicle at the site. Local residents rushed to the spot and rushed the injured woman to the hospital. After being informed, the police reached the spot and recovered the body of the victim and sent it for postmortem. The incident resulted in traffic jam in the area for nearly half-an-hour with the vehicles coming to a standstill. The situation was later brought under control by the police personnel. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedSome local residents also staged a demonstration protesting against reckless driving of vehicles. They alleged that there is no proper traffic management system in the area as a result of which accidents often take place in Baruipur. They also claimed that the accident would not have happened had there been some traffic police personnel deployed in the area. The agitation was later lifted by the locals following assurances from the top cops. Police said Sardar was a student of a private school at Madarihat and a resident of Balarampur area of the same district. The vehicle has been seized and raids are being conducted to nab the truck driver.last_img read more

Fake job racket busted 2 held for posing as govt officials

first_imgKolkata: Two persons arrested for duping several job seekers on the context of proving them with jobs in the Indian Coast Guard. One of the accused pretended to be an officer of the Indian Coast Guard and was wearing coast guard uniform. The duo were identified as Subrata Biswas and Dipankar Ghosh.According to the sources, the cheaters recently published an advertisement in a newspaper mentioning that several openings are there in the Indian Coast Guard. To get a job, the job seekers needed to go through a course from their institution. After successful completion of the course, they will guaranteed a job in the Indian Coast Guard. In the advertisement, it was also mentioned that no fee was needed to be given for the Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifebeginner’s course. The cheated job seekers alleged that though no fee was to be given for the beginners course, Biswas and Ghosh took money in other ways from them. On Wednesday, they were asked to appear at their institution and asked to sign on a bond where it was written that the job seekers did not have to pay them . Later, the job seekers were asked Rs 60,000 after which they would get the selection letter. On hearing this, the job seekers felt they were being duped and informed Gopalnagar police station. Later, police arrested the duo and recovered several incriminating documents and a set of Indian Coast Guard uniforms from the office. It is suspected that the duo might have connection with a fake job racket.last_img read more

Two arrested with 32 kg heroin

first_imgKolkata: The Special Task Force have arrested two persons from the city and recovered crude heroin weighing around 3.2 kg from the city.Acting on a tip-off, the STF officials on Saturday evening intercepted a private vehicle on Munsi Prem Chand Sarani under Hastings police station. During a search, the police found the heroin kept inside the car. These materials were kept concealed inside the door in such a manner that they would avoid the eyes of the people who would open the door from outside. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataThe police recovered about 3.208 kg (approx) of crude heroin and the accused were held for interrogation. After an interrogation the police arrested the duo — Dipak Roy (46) and Kumar Chetri (34). Roy is a resident of Anlong in Assam while Chetri hails from Tezpur area of the same district. According to the police, the approximate cost of narcotics may be between Rs 3 crore to Rs 12 crore. Police are trying to know if the accused are a part of any interstate narcotic smuggling racket. They are interrogating the duo to know the names of other accused, who might have been involved in the incident.last_img read more