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How AI Could Help ID the Owner of a Luxury Necklace Found in the ‘Titanic’ Wreckage

The discovery was made during the largest underwater scan of a wreck site ever conducted.

The Titanic. Getty/Topical Press Agency

A Guernsey-based company just performed the largest underwater scan of a wreck site ever conducted.

Using a pair of submarines, Magellan produced 700,000 images of the Titanic wreckage, the first full-size digital scan of the historic luxury passenger ship, according to ITV.

Among the small remains found in the wreckage and debris was a turquoise and gold necklace made from the tooth of a Megalodon, a massive species of extinct mackerel shark that lived approximately 23 to 3.6 million years ago.

As per an agreement between the U.K. and the U.S., members of the public are prohibited from taking artifacts from the crash site, so the Magellan team was unable to retrieve the necklace despite the discovery. Now they’re hoping an AI-driven technology could help in identifying its owner and finding the family members.

The technology will analyze video footage of passengers boarding the ship, scanning them, and running them through facial recognition technology to catalog the clothing they wore that day. Once analysts are able to determine which passenger wore the necklace, they can begin the process of finding the living relatives of the necklace’s owners.

“What is not widely understood is that the Titanic is in two parts and there’s a three-square-mile debris field between the bow and the stern,” said Magellan CEO Richard Parkinson, who called the discovery incredible considering the size of the wreck site. “The team mapped the field in such detail that we could pick out those details.”

Around 11:40 p.m. on April 14, 1912, the world’s largest luxury steamship Titanic struck an iceberg, creating a 300-foot-long gash along the lower section of its hull, causing it to take on water.

Over the next three hours, the 883-foot behemoth, dubbed “unsinkable” before its maiden voyage, sank. Of the more than 2,240 passengers and crew, or “souls,” as they were referred to by the shipping line, more than 1,500 lost their lives in the early hours of April 15, mostly by drowning in the frigid North Atlantic waters.

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