The research group on artificial intelligence KIM of the University of Arts and Design Karlsruhe is happy to announce a collaboration with the artist and coder Adam Harvey for the project VFRAME. Specifically, KIM has supported the printing of a 3D model of the illegal cluster munition AO-2.5RT to improve the training of neural networks for weapon recognition.

Since the University of Arts and Design Karlsruhe finds its location in a former ammunition factory of the Nazi regime (built with bunker-concrete pillars to survive its own possible explosion), the collaboration with Adam Harvey has a high symbolic value and contributes to the end of a toxic karmic circle. The VFRAME project, in general, demonstrates civil uses of AI for peace and justice — for once, not oriented to technologies of destruction and blind automation.

With special thanks to Grit Werner, Marco Kempf and the Product Design department.


VFRAME webpage

VFRAME (Visual Forensics and Metadata Extraction) is a collection of open source computer vision tools designed specifically for human rights investigations that rely on large video datasets. Human rights researchers often rely on videos shared online to document war crimes, atrocities, and human rights violations. Manually reviewing these videos is expensive, does not scale, and can cause vicarious trauma. As an increasing number of videos are posted, a new approach is needed.

VFRAME is currently working with Syrian Archive, an organization dedicated to documenting war crimes and human rights violations, to develop computer vision tools to address these challenges. Specifically VFRAME is developing tools to detect evidence of illegal munitions including A02.5-RT/M, ShOAB-0.5, PTAB-1M; filter graphic content to reduce vicarious trauma; efficiently search for related visual media in large datasets (over 1M videos); and a web annotation platform to construct custom datasets for training computer vision models. Throughout development we will document the process and release a report along with open-sourced code in Fall 2018.

VFRAME is developed by Adam Harvey and contributors in Berlin. VFRAME is currently funded by a grant from and Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung.

Rendering of the illegal cluster munition AO-2.5RT.