Thursday, September 14, 2017

Inventor Sorts 2 Million Lego Blocks with AI

Jacques Mattheij didn’t expect to buy two tons of Lego bricks. But that’s what happened after an evening of bidding — or rather, overbidding — on bulk lots of used bricks on eBay. His plan was to resell the bricks at a profit. But he won more than expected, and by morning, he owned more than 2 million pieces. Now he needed to sort them to get the best price. And he wasn’t keen on the idea of hand-sorting the colossal collection. “It would take several life times to get that all organized,” Mattheij said in his blog. So Mattheij, an inventor living outside Amsterdam, turned the job to over to a computer. He reasoned that GPU-accelerated deep learning and object recognition can identify objects in images and video, and recognize pedestrians, bicycles and other objects in the path of self-driving cars. So why not apply this AI to his Lego pieces?