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IIT Madras Develop AI To Restore Old, Damaged Photos

IIT Madras have harnessed the power of artificial neural networks to restore CCTV images that have been degraded due to weather conditions, beyond recognition. The technology is the brainchild of Dr A.N. Rajagopalan, holder of the Sterlite Technologies Chair Professor position in the Department of Electrical Engineering at IIT Madras and was assisted by Maitreya Suin and Kuldeep Purohit from IIT Madras.

Rajgopalan’s Image Processing and Computer Vision Laboratory at the aforementioned institution is harnessing the power of artificial neural networks to bring these degraded images back to life. The new method at play can be utilised to clean images affected by rain-streaks, raindrops, haze and motion blur.

Researchers discovered that looking at the degraded portions as well as cleansing the image was nearly impossible for a single neural network, so they decided to separate the tasks into two different stages.

In the primary stage, one neural network was trained to localise the degraded part whereas in the second stage, the neural network uses this very information to restore the image. Dr Rajagopalan explains, “Bad weather in the form of rain and haze causes significant loss of image quality.

Even though this tech is only targeted towards restoring degraded CCTV imagery, it would be really cool to see if this tech can be applied for restoring physical images that have aged poorly over the past, and maybe help us relive those memories.


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