Computer Vision, Common Applications, New Tech
While the topic of computer vision may come across as extremely technical and unrelatable to many American consumers, the subfield of AI computer science has come to influence many of the applications, products, and services that people around the world make use of on a daily basis. As advancements in machine learning and artificial intelligence have allowed software developers to reach new limits in regard to the creation of new technologies, programs that make use of computer vision have become increasingly more accessible. With this being said, computer vision has many common applications within society today, particularly as it pertains to searching for information on the internet.
Image search capabilities within popular search engines such as Google are perhaps the most common application in the field of computer vision around the world today. In many instances, when a particular person is looking for the answer to a question or problem, they take their thoughts to google. As it relates to searching for pictures, computer vision techniques, in conjunction with the mass storage of user information and data that is at Google’s disposal, allow for consumers to search millions of images in a matter of seconds. This is made possible through neural networks that have been trained upon millions of labeled images. Through these labeled images, Google’s image search feature can detect a wide range of objects with a high level of accuracy, in accordance with the features and patterns of said objects.
Image editing and enhancement
Another common application of the field of computer vision is image editing and enhancement software. From automatic redaction software programs to more widely known applications such as Adobe and Photoshop, image editing software functions on the basis of machine learning methods that are made possible by the application of computer vision. While zooming into a picture has historically caused the image to become distorted, advancements in the field of computer vision allow users to utilize programs such as Adobe and Photoshop to create more precise and crisp images. This is made possible by focusing on the patterns and edges of images, as opposed to the pixels within the images, allowing users of such programs to enhance their photos and images to their liking.
Facial recognition software
As the entire basis of computer vision is the attempt to replicate the human vision system through technological means, it is only fitting that the advent of facial recognition software was predicated on methods and techniques derived from the field of study. Many consumers will have come into contact with such software through major companies such as Instagram and Apple, as these companies allow users to access features and devices through facial recognition. For example, many U.S. consumers make use of facial recognition to unlock their iPhones, as the software embedded within such devices is able to recognize facial features through rigorous training. Alternatively, users of Instagram that have had their accounts compromised can use facial recognition features to verify their identities.
Medical image processing
On the more technical side of things, computer vision has come to play an enormous role for many healthcare professionals as it concerns medical image processing. As even the most intelligent and accomplished doctors will need to take breaks, using software programs for the purposes of medical imaging can help save countless lives. Through such programs, medical professionals are able to apply their expertise and experience on a larger scale, as they can train a software model to identify certain features and patterns within X-rays, CT scans, and MRI images. As these software programs can scan millions of such images in the time it would take a doctor to scan thousands, patients can receive the medical treatment they need before deadly diseases such as cancer begin to develop.
Self-checkout machines are another common application of the field of computer vision that the average consumer will have taken advantage of, particularly in the midst of the current COVID-19 pandemic. For example, in the context of shopping at a supermarket, self-checkout machines are able to detect whether or not a shopper has scanned or weighed an item correctly, in accordance with barcodes and associated weights with a given food product. When a shopper scans an item using a self-checkout machine, the machine predicts the barcode on the particular item. If the item does not align with the training the machine received, an employee will be notified.
While these are just a few examples of the applications of the field of computer vision in our current society, there are many more products, features, and services that utilize methods and techniques that function on the basis of computer vision. As the rise of the internet allows people around the world to access connected technologies in a manner that has never occurred in human history, the applications of computer vision will likely increase, as machine learning techniques and artificial intelligence can be used to help improve the lives of people in all facets of life and society.