IBM unveils application for AI-based counterfeit detector

A few weeks back, IBM unveiled its ‘crypto anchor’ project, which applies artificial intelligence and blockchain to the identification and authentication of objects. Now, its rolling out the first application of the technology.

The technology giant is working with the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) to apply crypto anchors in the form of optical imaging data as well as related software (called Verifier) to evaluate and grade diamonds according to the four Cs – cut, colour, clarity and carat weight – and capture and store a 3D image of the gemstone.

At the moment the project is still in its early stages, with a system being built that can be introduced into the GIA’s grading process, but in time the intention is to make it possible to verify the grade and authenticity of a diamond by customers at the retail level, for example using a smartphone app.

“Imagine using the Verifier technology on your cell phone to confirm that the grade of a diamond you purchased is the same grade given by GIA, or to make sure the same diamond is returned to you when you have it cleaned by a third party,” says IBM in a blog post.

It notes that GIA also hopes to integrate this solution to the blockchain by creating and adding records on diamonds that ensure transparency and verifiability for the gems “throughout their journey from manufacturer to consumer.”

Optical data is just one form of crypto anchor that IBM is developing, and there’s hardly any limit to what might serve as the link between the physical world – the ‘anchor’ – and the virtual world of the AI and blockchain platform. The company has also developed tiny computers that could be used as crypto anchors in electronic devices, for example, as well as edible inks that could be stamped onto pills or foodstuffs.

It maintains that the platform can be widely deployed to ensure an object’s authenticity from its point of origin to when it reaches the hands of the customer.

Examples of potential applications include authenticating medicines, analysing water quality, identifying the constituents of moor or cooking oils, and spotting counterfeit money or packaging using  lithographic print patterns or paper weaves.

Image courtesy of kuongchin / Pixabay

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