"Our eyes are the equivalent of two cameras," says KAUST Electrical Engineering Assistant Professor, Bernard Ghanem.
Much like cameras, human beings essentially record video. We then
process theses images we intake to make decisions in our day-to-day
lives. We know, for example, to stay away from a barking dog, not to
touch a hot stove or not to walk onto unsafe surfaces. What if we could
teach machines how to do the same thing? In fact, that's what computer
vision and machine learning are all about – inputting visual stimuli,
classifying the information and making a decision.
industry in which computer vision is playing an important role today is
the automotive sector -- with the advent of self-driving cars. Several
auto manufacturers have already developed self-driving concept vehicles
and are envisioning commercially viable models in the coming years. Google's self-driving cars are already set for circulating in the streets of California.
self-driving cars like Google have visual sensors," said Ghanem. Is the
light red, green, or yellow? Because based on that there are traffic
rules to follow. "But there are other sensors like range finders and
other types of sensors that perceive how far certain objects are. The
sensors can also determine exactly what those objects or obstacles are."
When faced with a potential collision scenario, the autonomous driving
technology in the vehicle must be able to differentiate between a
pedestrian, a tree or another car when making a decision to veer the car
in whichever direction.
Another company, Mobileye,
specializing in computer vision will start introducing autonomous
driving technology in certain brands of cars as early as next year for
obstacle avoidance and for detecting when a person has started drifting
from lane to lane.
Other industry applications
scientists also use computer vision to assist governments, agencies and
corporations with such applications as surveillance, security and even
marketing. For instance, several airports may use biometric technology
to scan travelers' faces for identification purposes.
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-By Meres J. Weche