Amazon announced that it has introduced artificial intelligence (AI) technology to ensure social distancing among its employees. The AI-enabled system is called ‘Distance Assistant’ and uses machine-learning models to differentiate people from surrounding objects. It measures the accurate distance between employees by utilising depth sensors. When people walk past the camera, employees can see if they are two metres apart from others on a monitor that displays live video with visual overlays. If the distance is maintained among employees, individuals are highlighted with green circles. People who are closer together are highlighted with red circles.
The technology was developed to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic in order to ensure the health and safety of employees who work in warehouses of Amazon. The company said it plans to open source the technology.