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I’ve been watching the evolution of computer vision closely and things are getting VERY interesting right now.

We’ve always wondered when computers can think like humans, and it’s always remained that elusive “20 years away”. To really interface with us, they need some KEY things:

#1 TO REMEMBER (STORAGE & RECALL)
#2 TO LISTEN & COMPREHEND (MICROPHONES & COMPUTE)
#3 TO SPEAK (SPEECH GENERATION)
#4 TO SEE
#5 TO THINK (COGNITION, EMOTION & CREATIVITY)

Of those 5 things, the first three are pretty much nailed, #4 is next.

The evidence that #4 is elusive is Siri on the iPhone, or Microsoft’s Cortana don’t ask to see what you’re talking about. Siri should say “Can you show me that?“.

When given the chance to see, the data reveals the number one question people ask a seeing computer about is problems on their body. They worry about rashes etc. It’s interesting as it shows how most companies are working on the wrong problem, learning Starbucks, Mercedes and Nike logos from all angles won’t get you there.

Starbucks

Looking at a simple coffee cup… Algorithms today focus on the Starbucks logo, and respond with offers of Starbucks products like “Starbucks iPhone Case”.  Huh?  At least identify it as “a white Starbucks Ceramic Mug”, why are you just showing me iPhone cases?

The step that all the companies fail at is when you break the mug… Even a kid would say “A broken mug”, but after countless millions of dollars every research tech fails to nail it.

coffee-16787794

I’ve seen multi-multi-million dollar systems analyze this kind of image above and return the word “Creamy“.  What?

I have friends at Cloudsight.ai that have avoided the typical “buy data sets and crunch them” model as they knew they need cognition (understanding & comprehension) of image concepts.  They have an open API and are being used in numerous 3rd party applications today, processing countless millions of images from real people.

Most companies are working on straight “recognition” and I get it, I’m a programmer and I also love to think that programming can get us there alone, but it can’t.  It’s like the visual researchers are following the old path of audio researchers by trying to recognize individual words, that have no context.

I remember Bill Gates talking about voice recognition once, he explained just how difficult is is to understand “Do you recognize speech?” vs “Did you wreck a nice beach?” Even if a computer gets the words right, getting it to understand the question was a massive problem.  So only when researchers focused on understanding context did things start to leap forward for the cloud being able to listen.

Cloudsight Logo

The reason the CloudSight.ai solution is interesting is because they’ve spent years working on the parental teaching loop that human brains require to grow. The reason the kid can understand the broken mug is because they understand the concept BROKEN, they broke things and saw how they break.  They will see more and more evidence of this idea growing up and can recognize BROKEN in any form.  There’s lots to learn…  “Those glasses are broken“, “Those glasses are old“, “That person looks ill” etc.

Every single major corporation (Apple, Google, Microsoft, Facebook, Pinterest etc.) will need to either have the cloud see or to understand the billions of images and videos they are handling.  It’s a certain future and it’s fun watching the progress.

http://cloudsight.ai/api

I just gave it a fun image to try…   It nailed it.

Fish Bike

Here’s someone testing all the top solutions:

http://www.business2community.com/brandviews/upwork/comparing-image-recognition-apis-01836977#7xoZcux6ybpe9FHM.97

So keep an eye on this space, it’s about to get very interesting.

If you’ve ever taken an image with atrocious white balance, and, despite your best efforts at adjustment in Lightroom or Adobe Camera Raw, found it shifting from one color cast to another rather than becoming neutral, today we’ve got a tutorial for f64 Academy to help. Some types of scenes are inherently more challenging to obtain correct…

via How To Fix Bad White Balance | A Simple 3 Step Method — SLR Lounge

FPV Car Racing!

April 28, 2017 — Leave a comment

Perhaps you like the idea of FPV (first-person view) drone racing, but you’re a little uncomfortable with the thought of piloting a rapidly-moving quadcopter through the air. If you are, then maybe FPV car racing would be more to your liking. Although hobbyists have been doing it on a DIY basis for years, there’s a…

via FPV car racing is getting kinda gnarly — New Atlas

Some of my Favorite Books

November 14, 2016 — 1 Comment

Chris Anderson has worked with the best speakers in the world and despite all the books on how to give good TED speeches, he decided to write the official one. It really is on the money so if you ever have to give a speech, get this book!

Was a great book when it launched, some really simple concepts (like checking you have an audience before you make the product) that many people do tend to miss.

I’ve done a lot of pitching and this book explains why you can’t download a template pitch off the internet and just fill in your data. I think of pitching as telling a story and this book makes it really clear why the “Why” matters.

This is a short and very simple book that just reminds you that an offer can be improved, and offers ideas on how to think about improving it. It wasn’t a GREAT book, I just keep finding myself thinking about the ideas when I see someone pitching a product.

This is really a psychology book, with really interesting examples of how changing a few words can impact a business. A good example was “Will you call our restaurant if you can’t make your reservation” vs “Please call”. Saying “Will you” gets a commitment and can improve the business.

Seth Godin writes a lot of books, but this one remains one of my favorites thinking about teams and social groups.

Modern thinking on how to improve engagement.

Gene Wilder

August 30, 2016 — Leave a comment

I grew up through the sweet spot of Gene Wilder movies, just in case you missed it, this interview is a rare glimpse of him talking about his career recorded just 3 years ago.

Physics from Video?

August 22, 2016 — Leave a comment

Gotta love out-of-the-box thinking mixed with great math!

Check out this MIT research on how to learn how something moves just by watching video of it.

If you miss the days of playing Pong with old-school dial controllers but would rather not track down a vintage console or arcade cabinet, today’s your lucky day. Daniel Perdomo and crew have built a real-world Pong machine that replicates the pionee…

via Real-world ‘Pong’ might just beat the video game — Engadget RSS Feed