MIT’s EVM Software: Debunking Bigfoot Videos
MIT’s Eulerian Video Magnification (EVM) software is said to be the next step in Bigfoot research. The software allows viewers to pick up subtle changes in the pixels of any video, magnifying and meshing them all together to reveal things that the naked eye does not catch.
The EVM software can catch even the smallest of changes in a video frame, like say someone’s blood pulsating in their neck muscles. The subdermal movement is almost impossible to see with the naked eye, especially when watching it through a video online. With EVM, the software shows us the micro-changes in someone’s skin.
For Bigfoot research, this opens the gates to a whole different level when it comes to debunking these Bigfoot videos that seems to spring up on YouTube every day or two.
The BostonMagazine recently interviewed Matt Knapp, who runs BigfootCrossroads.com and is the first Bigfoot researcher to propose EVM’s use on the rash of Bigfoot videos online. In fact, Knapp was the one to discover MIT’s secret (or not so secret) EVM project and introduced the Bigfoot community to the possibilities.
(Does this mean Todd Standing won’t be releasing any more ‘Sylvania Bigfoot videos‘?)
Check out the video around the 3 minute and 17 second mark for an awesome demonstration of the EVM software.
“The facts are that in terms of progress, the Bigfoot research community has ultimately made none. We are no closer now to proving these creatures exist than we were 40 years ago,” Knapp told Boston.
Knapp blames the setbacks on the digital age, and the amount of misinformation being spread in the form of photos and videos online. That, and the fact that more people seem to be trying to cash in on what they claim are legitimate Bigfoot sightings. “Self admittedly, up to this point, we have not had anything worth presenting as real evidence of this creature’s existence. If we want scientists to get involved, we have to go by their standards, not our anecdotal ones,” he said.
To help filter out the phonies and fakes all trying to make a quick buck on something he believes in, Knapp is asking those vested in Bigfoot research to rely on technology built out of MIT to prove that the truth is out there.
Knapp, who runs a blog called “Bigfoot Crossroads,” a personal site with updates about all things Sasquatch, recently stumbled upon an invention created by students and researchers in the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab in Cambridge in 2012, called “Eulerian Video Magnification.”
EVM is essentially a software that allows users to break down videos to reveal things in them that are invisible to the naked eye. This includes visualizing the blood pulsing behind someone’s cheeks and face, or capturing changes in body behaviors that the average person is unable to detect just by simply staring at someone. EVM does this by “homing in on specific pixels” in a given video, according to the New York Times, and then amplifying those pixels by up to 100 times using complex algorithms.
Knapp seems to believe that if the program can be used for medical diagnostics—it’s intended use when it was publicly introduced in 2012 by the MIT team—then there’s no reason it can’t call out fake videos. “In such a fringe subject as Bigfoot, not everyone is serious about their motives for being involved. There are numerous individuals out there, that for whatever reason present false evidence,” he said. “I feel [this] truly is remarkable and ground breaking technology that will really do some good in the world. Later on after reading about it and watching the videos, I realized that this software could be used in the Bigfoot field as well.”
He hopes that the technology launched by MIT’s team, which was made free for public use and download, will help separate what’s “real” from what’s merely a hoax. “Not only does the EVM software assist in…determining and proving the subject of a video is a living and breathing entity, and not just some guy in a costume, it also opens the door in terms of gaining information about muscle movement and motion,” said Knapp.
Since the Bigfoot research field has no set standards or protocol, and there are very few scientists involved in the study, he would like to see people rely on the technology produced by researchers out of MIT to help sift out the bogus material being disseminated. “The same techniques are being used, the same theories are being rehashed time and time again, and I believe a change is long overdue,” he said.
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