Gun-Recognizing Software Can See Firearms on Video: Spanish University Develops “Gun-Smart” AI

    Screencap of the program's analysis of a scene from the 1997 movie Bean. One of the selling points of this new software is that it can identify firearms even in very low resolution footage.

    Can a computer pick out and identify guns directly from video footage, without the aid of a human? That’s the technology being demonstrated by a program at the Spanish University of Granada, which earlier this year released a video purporting to show an computer artificial intelligence doing just that. You can see this technology in action in the video released by the University, embedded below:

    The technology is based on scanning the pixels in the video, and narrowing down areas that seem to more closely resemble a gun, until they find a highly probable match. Interestingly, in several cases the computer misidentifies non-gun items as containing firearms, such as the armrests of some of the seats in the airport scene of the 1997 film Bean.

    Editor’s Note: We do have to note among footage taken from movies like Pulp Fiction, and Skyfall, they also showed a clip of TFB’s own Chris Cheng on the range with a modified Glock. The potential for this software to be used by websites like YouTube to flag videos containing firearms is not lost on TFB, and we should note for the record that Chris did not give his consent to be featured in the video, nor does he or TFB endorse the University or the technology. TFB will actively oppose the use of such technology to prevent firearm videos being posted on sites such as Youtube and Facebook. 

    Nathaniel F

    Nathaniel is a history enthusiast and firearms hobbyist whose primary interest lies in military small arms technological developments beginning with the smokeless powder era. He can be reached via email at [email protected]