Open up your webcam and look at its unblinking eye. If you catch a glimmer of intelligence don’t be surprised – computers are understanding more of what they see every day. Machine vision is a broad category of technologies that extract meaningful information from images so that computers and robots can perform their assigned duties. When your camera automatically detects your smile and places it in focus, that’s machine vision. When a flying robot weaves and dodges around obstacles to get to where it’s going, that’s machine vision too. This technology is already all around us and it’s getting better fast. Our friends at Mezzmer Eyeglasses have shared another impressive infographic with us, this time to explain the present and future of machine vision. Check out the Singularity Hub exclusive image below. Not only will this technology help us create a world where machines see and comprehend the world on a level closer to our own, it may be one of the paths to creating true artificial intelligence.
The digital world is of growing importance in the 21st Century, but humans are still physical things. We need machines that can work and interact in meat-space. Machine vision is what allows an industrial robot to find the perfect place to make a weld, or a retina scanner to grant access only to those with the proper clearance. In essence, machine vision is the primary sense of our (increasingly intelligent) computers. As this sense is improved and becomes cheaper, more of our devices will be able to not only see what is happening, but make intelligent decisions that effect the physical world around us. While machine vision (and other ‘senses’) are a very large part of the established robotics community, there are some researchers who think that it’s actually the key to creating a general artificial intelligence. After all, human infants learn from watching the world and seeing what happens as they interact with it. If a computer could do the same, maybe it could learn to be human too. For now, infographics like this one are a great way to understand how machine vision is shaping our world, even if it often goes unseen by human eyes. Read it, share it, and take a glance around – you may be surprised by how many machines are looking back.
[image credit: Graphic Created by Mezzmer Eyeglasses]