Humanistic Intelligence: WearComp as a new framework for Intelligent Signal Processing

Steve Mann, 1998

Proceedings of the IEEE, Vol. 86, No. 11, November, 1998, 29 pages (30 including cover; cover picture of issue depicts an early embodiment of Mann's WearComp invention) Pages 2123-2151


Humanistic Intelligence (HI) is proposed as a new signal processing framework in which the processing apparatus is inextricably intertwined with the natural capabilities of our human body and mind. Rather than trying to emulate human intelligence, HI recognizes that the human brain is perhaps the best neural network of its kind, and that there are many new signal processing applications, within the domain of personal technologies, that can make use of this excellent but often overlooked processor. The emphasis of this paper is on personal imaging applications of HI, as we take a first step toward an intelligent wearable camera system that can allow us to effortlessly capture our day-to-day experiences, help us remember and see better, provide us with personal safety through crime reduction, and facilitate new forms of communication through collective connected humanistic intelligence. The wearable signal processing hardware, which began as a cumbersome backpack-based photographic apparatus of the 1970s, and evolved into a clothing-based apparatus in the early 1980s, currently provides the computational power of a UNIX workstation concealed within ordinary-looking eyeglasses and clothing. Thus it may be worn continuously during all facets of ordinary day-to-day living, so that, through long-term adaptation, it begins to function as a true extension of the mind and body.

The remainder of this paper is available here. It may take a while to download since there are a lot of pictures in it.