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Detecting Fatigue with AI: The Future of Safety in Workplaces

Sep 26, 2023

In today’s fast-paced world, ensuring the safety of transport, industrial, and defense facilities often hinges on the alertness of the professionals manning them. From drivers in vehicle fleets to air traffic controllers, the psychophysiological state of these individuals can make the difference between a regular day and a catastrophic event. But how can we accurately gauge this state? Enter the groundbreaking research from St. Petersburg State University.

The Science Behind the Innovation

A collaborative effort between St. Petersburg University, St. Petersburg Federal Research Center of the Russian Academy of Sciences, and other organizations has created a unique database. This database captures the eye movement strategies of operators as they monitor objects on a PC screen in varying states of alertness and fatigue.

Why eye movements? According to Dr. Irina Shoshina, Professor at the Institute for Cognitive Research, St. Petersburg State University, eye movements offer a window into the dynamics of neural network interactions. These interactions between static and dynamic vision and psychophysiological indicators can provide a more comprehensive and objective assessment of fatigue than traditional methods.

The AI’s Role

Using this rich database, scientists plan to train neural networks to detect operator fatigue with unparalleled accuracy. Alexey Kashevnik, Senior Research Associate at the St. Petersburg Federal Research Center, emphasizes the uniqueness of this database. It’s not just about eye movements; it encompasses a range of indicators collected through video cameras, eye trackers, heart rate monitors, and electroencephalographs. Such a comprehensive dataset ensures that AI models can accurately classify a person’s state as tired or alert.

The Broader Impact

The implications of this research are vast. With the ability to remotely assess fatigue severity, industries can ensure enhanced safety protocols. Moreover, the database is open to the public, allowing software developers worldwide to test and refine their products.

In Conclusion:

Three Reasons Why This Research is Crucial:

  1. Safety First: Detecting fatigue can prevent accidents in critical sectors like transport and defense.
  2. Public Access: The open database encourages global collaboration and innovation.
  3. Beyond Traditional Methods: AI and eye movement data offer a more comprehensive fatigue assessment than older techniques.

Three Tips for Industries to Leverage This Research:

  1. Integrate AI Systems: Embrace the technology to monitor operators’ fatigue levels in real time.
  2. Continuous Training: Ensure that staff are well-versed in the research implications and the importance of self-monitoring.
  3. Feedback Loop: Encourage operators to provide feedback on the AI system’s accuracy, ensuring continuous improvement.


  1. St. Petersburg State University Research Publication

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