Computer Vision for Artists and Designers

This thorough article gave me a very good understanding of how a computer is taught to see. Yet, primarily, shifted my attention to how we take our vision and the way we see and react to the world for granted since it’s a result of countless subconscious processes happing in our brain.

I found it very thought-provoking: humans can distinguish dark and light or objects and humans in a blink of an eye, without having to forcefully learn it. The processes are automatic and we cannot influence them, alter them nor stop them. Similarly to the way our brains are wired in to recognize faces – this mechanism is so efficient that we start seeing faces even where there are none. (As I recently learned, this phenomenon is called pareidolia, see a screenshot from a google search below for quick reference).

That’s why it was very interesting to read about how to teach computers all of these things through codes. Not only people programmed computers to “see” but they also alter what, how and when they see it based on the frame differences and pixel comparisons. They set very rigid boundaries of what the computer can and cannot see, which we can’t achieve with a human brain. It’s not even an imitation of how our brains work – it’s a completely different mechanism.

It made me realize that the way we make computers see (as described in the article) can actually serve as a crucial difference between computer “minds” and human minds (just think of the “I’m not the robot” kind of tests that show you a picture that a computer cannot transfer into text- and that I failed a way too many times that I’m slowly starting to doubt my own humanness).


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