COMPUTER VISION

This is a module about one of the most interesting current and future technologies which will impact on the development of the Information Technology (IT) society.

Digital cameras are appearing everywhere: the webcams on our computers and mobile phones; the surveillance cameras around airports or train stations; new speed cameras used for monitoring sport activities; cameras on drones and satellites; cameras taking medical images such as infrared and X-ray; the list keeps expanding. A broad sample of real applications such as auto-drivers for cars, advanced user interfaces, objects recognition, augmented reality, etc. will be given as examples during this presentation.

At present most of these images are just looked at by people (e.g. in video-surveillance cameras are used for monitoring). However the processing of images from all these cameras can (and will) be automated allowing us to do things never before considered: the webcam as a tracking device in place of the mouse; the surveillance cameras used to identify people behavior and alert security; the camera of smart phones used to capture images of objects and automatically recognize them; the camera of smart phones used to diagnose at distance pathologies without the assistance of experts; cameras on robots allowing them to interact with humans; the list of current and future applications is impressive. Progressively computer vision is applied to more and more complex applications. A broad sample of them will be shown.

The ultimate aim of computer vision is to emulate human vision but this goal is still a very long way away. Several bio-inspired models such as models based on neural networks will be presented to show the limits of current computer vision models but also the new trends in this domain.

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