Japan researchers develop AI that detects toxic gas

Toxic gas detection experts can breathe easier thanks to new artificial-intelligence software that handles their work for them, identifying poison gases with greater than 90% accuracy.

That rate beats human analysis by more than 30 percentage points.

Japanese technology company JSOL — a member of the NTT Data group — developed the software jointly with the National Research Institute of Police Science, which has experience handling toxic gases, and with Riken Keiki, a manufacturer of gas detectors. They aim to reach the product stage by 2020 and sell the technology to counterterrorism police, as well as commercial facilities.

Currently, detecting toxic gases in mixed atmospheres requires humans to analyze data from sensor devices.

JSOL trained the AI on previous sensor output data using deep-learning techniques. The software can pick out deadly substances including sarin and VX, independently picking up on signals that people would have missed.

The technology could also be used to stop infectious outbreaks in hospitals by detecting airborne viruses, as well as to prevent disease outbreaks in schools.

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