Beyond the Visual: What is AI Image & Video Recognition?

How Can a Computer Understand Images?

As a subset of the artificial intelligence world, image and video recognition devices are already present in devices across the globe today. In the coming years, experts predict that this technology will become increasingly important to customer experience and business development. In fact, the market is expected to grow to a value of $29.98 billion by 2020.

AI video and image recognition refer to the ability of computers to process, acquire, and analyse information that’s taken primarily from visual sources. It allows a computer to “see” images and videos and decipher the information it receives without the need for excessive amounts of written data or code. Since computers have a tough enough time understanding natural human language, you can imagine how complex things become when they try to decipher images too.

How Do We Teach Computers to “See” Visual Data?

For AI image and video recognition to be successful, experts need to teach computers how to recognise patterns in visual stimuli. During some of the earliest days of computing, experts created a host of methods that computers could use to detect letters and numbers. This strategy was called “optical character recognition”, and it’s the same technology that allows computers to scan papers and books and convert them into usable data on a computer.

Over the years, other complex forms of programming have emerged to help computers learn more about the shapes they see. For instance, some computers can now learn that patterns of pixels define the edges of an object and that there are different “dimensions” in the world. This processed of refinement around computer vision has been accelerated in the past decade or so, thanks to increasing focus on artificial intelligence.

How Will AI Image and Video Recognition Affect the World?

While a computer that knows how to tell the difference between a picture of a horse and an image of a car might be an interesting concept, it can be difficult to determine what this will mean to your day-to-day life. Importantly, there’s more to image recognition than allowing computers and businesses to search through large batches of photos in the same way that the Google image search finds the pictures you’ve been looking for.

In recent years, you’ve probably benefitted from the fact that your phone can seek out faces to focus on people during pictures. Additionally, Facebook can autodetect the presence of friends and family in an image. As clever engineering in the AI industry continues to develop, the possibilities for image and video recognition are expanding even further. For instance, cars with self-driving strategies like the ones we’ve seen from Tesla are learning to evaluate their surroundings with cameras. This helps to ensure that drivers don’t bump into other cars, people, or objects.

Additionally, drones designed for the consumer world also have their own cameras that help to keep them safe during flight by preventing them from bumping into buildings and trees, but also prevent them from getting lost when they lose their GPS signal. Even the medical world is starting to explore the potential of image recognition for various applications, including the ability to analyse medical images like mammograms and effectively diagnose patients faster.

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