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  • Writer's pictureAhmed Abaza

What Happens When Computers Can See?

Updated: Jun 9, 2020

Exploring the potential of the Computers acquiring sight! A read on how it'll impact the world.

The Cambrian Explosion, is a very famous event in world history, where most living specifies we now know, first appeared in that era. The diversity of life increased more quickly than any other era, and many paleontologist believe, that this was due to one key event, that is the Evolution of the Eye.

No one can deny, the many advantages, eyes give to any species. Though, if you really think about it, the Eye, is just a receptor, it is our brains that do all the work of understanding what the eye receives, and makes us avoid that light pole, jump of that water puddle, and when exactly to cross the road safely. So, vision is an absolute advantage, that might have been key to the evolution of all living beings, but only when combined with a brain.

With all the amazing advancements of technology we have today, it is still in many ways lacking the Vision part. I-phones, and electronic cameras do and can see, by taking pictures, and storing them into meaningless (for computers) numbers or digits. Though, in many cases, they still lack the brain, the intelligence that can give correct action, towards a certain purpose, like crossing a road, or slowing down before a speed bump.

Now, combining sight and brain, is vision. For that matter, when computers can see and critically understand and process what is seeing, it’s called computer vision. With Cameras being the eyes and analytics being the brains.

With the rise of Artificial Intelligence, now computers can have brains, and combining them with cameras as receptors, computers have Computer Vision!

So, could computer vision be the reason for a Digital Cambrian Explosion?

Well, let’s see when computers have vision, what could happen?

Computers Can Read

With major advancement in Optical Character Recognition, Natural Language processing and Natural Language inferencing, computers can understand characters, words and meaning from pictures, hence can read, and make sense of what is written or typed. This can make computers, understand vast amount of knowledge, by reading books, newspapers, articles, with and can be trained to act and decide on the knowledge absorbed.

Imagine reading a 1,000 books on dieting, how much knowledge can you get on dieting from there? Well, a computer can do it in a fraction of the time you can, and can provide personalized diets for people, to get in tip top shape.

Computers Can Drive

Autonomous vehicles are somewhat famous by now. Computers can see speed bumps, people walking, pavements, trees and other cars, and can decide to slow down, stop and avoid street hurdles very fast. Technology is evolving at enormous speed in that field, and now there are even driverless Ubers.

Computers Can Feel

At Synapse Analytics, as part of our Azka* project, we posted a video for an emotional detection video, by which, computers can analyze a face, and understand its emotions. Based on that, computers can act accordingly. Feeling sad, how about a joke. Feeling stressed, how about playing some soothing music.

Computers Can Change Industries (Such as Retail)

As humans, we can easily understand when we see a person walking, sitting, jumping and dancing, its easy for us to do, by seeing and our brains processing the image.

Computers can understand the different poses. They can see if a person is checking out a product, comparing it with another or have taken the product. This can have retailers, and hyper retailers, understand better their customers, and can even have cashier-less shops, where computers can charge different people based on what they took.

Retailers can better understand the flow of their shops, by analyzing how people are moving between the aisles, can act accordingly, to reorganize shelves and create more converging experiences to their clients.

Not to mention, they can even predict buying intent. That is, when a client comes in, based on their behavior, computers can predict if they are buying a product or not, and even

recommend products based, on what they looked at, and behavior within their time at the shop.Also, they can see if an item is missing on a shelf, or has the right pricing.and diagnose a shelf based on its planograms

This is a video of Azka seeing and processing poses.

Computers Can Search and Rescue

When a child is lost from their parents, usually it takes so many people so much time and coordination to find her. Though, with computers able to see, and understand it is looking for a certain child, it can automatically flag, and alert everyone, whenever it finds the child. Police, can leverage so many street and shop cameras at once, accessing a search unit like no other.

Vision, is suggested to be a main engine of species evolution. Though, will it do the same for the digital evolution? We will see, very soon!

*Azka: Is a Synpase Analytics project, that is an AutoML platform, helping businesses access the power of A.I in different applications, easily and quickly. Check the products section on our website to learn more!


Founder & CEO of Synapse Analytics on how AI can be used in Retail. Synapse is a data science and AI company based in Egypt. Synapse Analytics

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