Let's Take A Closer Look

Explaining complicated subject matter simply since 1986

An article in Gizmodo says scientists have developed a way to identify people by their walk. They did this in the highly controlled environment of a lab where study subjects walked on a special pressure-sensitive floor while being filmed. An A.I. system analyzed weight distribution, pace, and three-dimensional measures of 120 study subjects. Omar Reyes, the lead author, said “Distinguishing between the subtle variations from person to person is extremely difficult to define manually, which is why we had to come up with a novel A.I. system to solve this challenge from a new perspective.”

Which got us to thinking about those subtle variations and how real people distinguish them now.

  • Toddling is moving with short unsteady steps, and it is how we all start.
  • Walking is defined as moving along by putting one foot in front of the other, allowing each to touch the ground before lifting the next. Walking varies by style, speed, and intent. Here are 20 types of walking; you will know more:
  • Ambling, sauntering and moseying have to do with wandering about at a slow, easy pace. When we sashay, we glide nonchalantly. Strolling is also slow, but the purpose is for pleasure. Meandering has the same pace, too, but here we take an intentionally indirect course. Rambling is just wandering around with no particular destination in mind, and when we traipse, we walk aimlessly without finding or reaching our goals.
  • When we walk without lifting our feet, we shuffle. Trudging is walking wearily with a lot of effort.
  • Tramping is walking with a firm, heavy, resounding step. Stomping is intentional, to show we are annoyed.
  • To stride is to walk with long steps – vigorously, hastily, or impatiently. When we’re nervous, we pace.
  • Promenading is walking with the intention of showing off. When we strut, we are vain and pompous and our gait is self-affected. Swaggering is the top of this heap – a self-important, domineering, challenging, ostentatious display of arrogance and conceit.

A.I. can handle shuffling and stomping and fast and slow.

But at least for now, it takes the human eye and the human brain and H.I. (Human Intelligence) to be able to distinguish the subtle variations of attitude and intent, such as the differences in our reasons for moving stealthily. Tiptoeing is walking quietly on your toes so as not to disturb someone. Slinking is moving stealthily or furtively in fear or shame.

The Keep On Truckin’ character was drawn by 1960s cartoonist Robert Crumb.

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