SINGAPORE (Oct 28): Visual artificial intelligence company Prisma AI began life as a business intelligence unit until 2003, when it started a project with Fraunhofer Institute to scan and piece together shredded letters between the former East Germany and West Germany. 

The shredded letters were placed on a conveyer belt with cameras mounted on top, after which Prisma’s algorithm was used to reconstruct them digitally, according to Shreeram Iyer, chairman and group CEO of Prisma AI. “That was the first project. We’ve done 2,000 bags [of letters] in 12 years out of 16,000 bags,” he says in an interview with The Edge Singapore.

That first project led to another one with Interpol to prevent stolen art from being sold, says Iyer. Mid-tier auction houses often do not list owner information, making it easier for stolen art to be auctioned off. Interpol agents utilise Prisma’s algorithm by taking pictures of the paintings put up for auction to compare them with pictures of stolen paintings stored on a server. “If there is a match, they can stop the auction and do carbon dating and analysis [to verify the painting],” he explains.

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