Your Potato Chip Bag Is Listening

Ecclesiastes 2:11
“Then I looked on all the works that my hands had wrought, and on the labour that I had laboured to do: and, behold, all was vanity and vexation of spirit, and there was no profit under the sun.”

If you’re concerned about maintaining your privacy in a world that is bent on snooping into every aspect of your life, you may not like what scientists are working on now. Researchers at MIT, Microsoft, and Adobe have developed a computer algorithm that is able to reconstruct an audio signal by analyzing the small vibrations of objects depicted in video. In other words, your potato chip bag is recording your words.

potato chip bagAccording to ScienceNews, the researchers were able to recover intelligible speech from the vibrations of a potato-chip bag that they filmed through soundproof glass from fifteen feet away. They were also able to extract audio signals from videos of aluminum foil and the surface of a glass of water. In fact, they could even recreate sounds that were filmed on the leaves of a potted plant.

Alexei Efros, an associate professor of computer science at the University of California, Berkeley, could hardly contain his excitement: “We’re scientists,” he said, “and sometimes we watch these movies, like James Bond, and we think, this is totally out of some Hollywood thriller. You know that the killer has admitted his guilt because there’s surveillance footage of his potato chip bag vibrating.”

Creation Moments can’t help but be impressed by the ingenuity of scientists who develop surprising new technologies. After all, man’s ingenuity points to the awesome genius of God – the One who created man in the first place!

Heavenly Father, thank You for giving mankind intelligence, ingenuity and the hunger to learn about the universe You created. I pray that more scientists will develop an interest in You and not just Your creation. Amen.

“Extracting audio from visual information: Algorithm recovers speech from vibrations of a potato-chip bag filmed through soundproof glass”, ScienceDaily, 8-4-14. Source: Massachusetts Institute of Technology. http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/speaking-of-science/wp/2014/08/04/mit-researchers-can-listen-to-your-conversation-by-watching-your-potato-chip-bag/. Photo credit: Christine Daniloff/MIT.