Technology: Pair AI with optical scanning to achieve real product certification

Lead: Today, IBM Research is launching the IBM Password Anchor Authenticator, a new technology that combines the innovation of AI and optical imaging to help prove the identity and authenticity of objects. We are working with our first customers, GIA (Gemological Institute of America), to launch this technology to help them evaluate and grade diamonds.

The items and substances we buy, wear, eat or use every day have their own unique optical patterns, which are sometimes invisible to the human eye, making them distinguish from each other. For example, these patterns can distinguish between corn ears and genetically modified ears, or identify impurities in diamonds.

Optical properties can be measured using spectrometers, which are instruments used to measure the properties of light, but they are very large and expensive, which limits their practicality. The use of optical analysis for object recognition in a real environment requires more adaptable tools. IBM Research has recently developed a powerful portable optical analyzer that is compact and can be used with mobile phone cameras.

AI and machine learning technologies (including neural networks and video analysis) play an important role in identifying the optical properties of substances, liquids or objects (including their color, movement, viscosity, and hue saturation). Use this data to train models so that they can predict the material or composition of the substance they present.

This innovative technology is a natural partner of blockchain technology, which is an immutable digital ledger that can record transactions in public or private peer-to-peer networks. The interest in using blockchain to track physical objects is growing rapidly. IBM’s cryptographic anchor verifier solution can be used to capture optical signatures from original, uncompromising items and then record them on the blockchain, which can verify that items have not been tampered with throughout the supply chain. For example, it is possible to track a case of wine through the blockchain using the IBM password anchor validator, from the wine merchant starting the distribution process to the collector buying the wine, confirming that it is wine that has left the vineyard.

By cooperating with GIA, we have brought this research out of the laboratory and into the real world. GIA is recognized as the inventor of the famous diamond quality 4C, cut, color, clarity and carat weight, and the international diamond grading system is recognized as the global diamond quality standard. The institute is committed to ensuring public trust in gems and jewelry by pursuing research, education, and standards-based gem identification and grading services.

GIA is currently testing the prover software to apply this exciting innovation to diamond grading by capturing and creating three-dimensional model images of diamonds, analyzing their characteristics and predicting their clarity levels. Today, AI models trained to predict diamond grades have an accuracy level of over 90% (within one grade) in the developmental stage using two-dimensional images. This is based on GIA’s previous research using images to evaluate diamonds.

The collaboration between GIA and IBM research includes the co-design of an imaging system that will embed the optical lens in GIA’s grading process before the solution is put into production. During this multi-year cooperation period, we plan to release new and enhanced services.

In the future, GIA will explore expanding the rating capabilities of retailers as part of its mission to protect consumers and ensure their trust in diamonds. This can take the form of a retailer application that allows individuals to verify the grade and authenticity of the diamond in order to provide consumers with further confidence and protect the integrity of the GIA report. Imagine using password anchor verifier technology on your phone to confirm that the diamond you bought is the same as the one given by GIA, or to ensure that the same diamond is returned to you when you are cleaned by a third party. GIA also hopes to integrate this solution into the blockchain by creating and adding diamond records to ensure the transparency and verifiability of gemstones throughout the entire process from manufacturer to consumer.

Conclusion: We believe that the opportunities of Crypto Anchor Verifier are limitless, and provide a feasible method to protect and verify various physical substances, and combine with the blockchain to bring new trust to commercial transactions. What will you use it for?