Seeing the future with Computer Vision
While the idea of living in a world where computers can “see” like humans may seem far-fetched to many, the truth is we already are (and have been for some time).
In fact, Computer Vision, a sub-field of Artificial Intelligence dedicated to replicating the human sense of sight, is already present in many of the apps and technologies we use today – from facial recognition on our smartphones to creepy facial tracking algorithms on social media (yes, we’re looking at you, Zuckerberg).
Add to this the rapidly growing trend of AI automation in the industrial, agricultural, and healthcare spaces, and it’s easy to see why Grand View Research predicted the global Computer Vision market would grow from USD 10.56 billion in 2019 to USD 19.1 billion in 2027.
But what exactly is Computer Vision, and what opportunities does it create for enterprises in 2021 and beyond?
Let’s look below to find out.
What is Computer Vision?
As the name suggests, Computer Vision is a form of AI that allows computers to see, observe and understand the real world.
In 1966, American Computer Scientist and co-founder of the AI laboratory at MIT, Marvin Minksy, first tried creating a computer that mimicked the human brain, sparking a wave of research into the field of Artificial Intelligence.
Fast forward to 2021, and by leveraging Deep Learning technology, computers can now collect, analyse, and quantify data from digital images and video much like the human brain (only 1000s of times faster).
How is Computer Vision changing the world?
Computer Vision offers immense value to many industries all over the world in a variety of different contexts. Here are a few examples:
With an average R&D budget of around USD 59 billion a year in the USA alone, it’s easy to understand why the military has always been major a hub of innovation in the world of tech – and Computer Vision is no exception.
From self-guiding missiles and autonomous drones to next-gen vehicle security systems that can detect enemy advances from miles away, Computer Vision is now an essential part of many modern military operations.
Following last week’s post where I discussed the key technologies driving the next industrial revolution, it’s safe to say AI Computer Vision will significantly impact the manufacturing world of tomorrow.
From automated package inspections and barcode scanning to reducing defects and improving worker safety, Computer Vision is helping organisations speed up operational performance across the board and stay ahead of the competition.
While many eCommerce businesses now use Computer Vision platforms like Roboflow to automate image categorisation and process thousands of images in minutes rather than hours, that’s not its only benefit.
Bricks-and-mortar businesses are also implementing Computer Vision to optimise customer behaviour in real-time, improve security, increase engagement, and deliver personalised experiences that keep customers coming back again and again.
With the global population expected to reach 9.7 billion by 2050, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization predicts we’ll need to boost worldwide food production by 70% over the next several decades to survive.
Considering this, Computer Vison technologies like automated drone-based crop spraying, intelligent yield analysis and computerised livestock monitoring will all become essential tools for helping future farmers keep up with growing demands.
Reducing the need for invasive surgeries and speeding up the detection of cancer cells are obvious examples of how Computer Vision is transforming patient care, but there’s more.
A healthcare centre in the US, for example, recently saw a 46% decline in coronavirus cases amongst employees after InData Labs installed a face recognition time attendance management system on their front desk.
Computer Vision can also help medical institutes streamline their R&D, quality assurance, and logistics processes to speed up results while driving down cost.
Seeing the future with Computer Vision
As the volume of image and video content continues to grow, the demand for more capable and innovative Computer Vision and Video Analytics solutions will continue growing with it.
In fact, according to Gartner, 65% of enterprise-captured videos and images will be analysed by machines instead of humans by the year 2023, up from just 10% in 2018.
Add to this the arrival of Smart Cities (a market expected to hit USD 820 billion by 2025) that will leverage Computer Vision to reduce traffic congestion and control crime, and it’s clear to see why this technology is such an exciting prospect for the future.
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