In Computer Vision

What is Computer Vision & Why Should Businesses Care About This Form of AI?

By Monica Watson

At its most basic, computer vision (CV) is a form of artificial intelligence that enables computers to see. Today, we expect technology to be able to read what we type - whether that’s the ability to act on the code developers write or to sort content by the hashtags added to social images. Computer vision enables machines to be able to read visual content similarly -- to see a photo of a blue dress and learn it is a blue dress, then apply that knowledge to other images of blue dresses without needing to rely on a person to tag all those images first. For a deeper dive, download our free computer vision 101 guide here!

Business & AI

Already, CV is being used by businesses across industries, whether they’re at an online marketplace, dating app, social network, or beyond, in multiple use cases (from content moderation to market research). Why? Because it enables them to effectively scale practices such as content moderation and management to even better utilizing their security cameras for security or even market research.

Content Management & CV

With the huge influx of content at every company, content management has become increasingly complex. Not only is there a staggering amount of content needing to be stored, but as much of it is diverse in nature.

“Correctly categorizing and tagging media can be a highly time intensive process,” Matthew Jones, Marketing Manager at digital asset management company Picturepark, said. “Users ‘see’ different things in visual content. People project their own knowledge and biases on to what they see. What one person sees as a Yorkshire terrier, another may see as just a small dog.”

Especially in companies where there are multiple offices or people tagging items, inconsistencies and mistakes happen often. Computer vision is able to negate this by being able to tag many pieces of content in a tiny amount of time and to do so consistently. Read more of our interview with Matthew here! 

Moderation & CV

Moderation has become a must for almost every business that utilizes user-generated content, especially with the new FOSTA-SESTA laws. Keep in mind that moderation is not just something done to remove NSFW content though. Many brands just want to remove low-quality images, and many marketplaces use moderation to ensure people aren't selling items that go against their terms of service. 

Photobucket is one company that has realized the need for moderation. However, with users uploading more than 2 million images users upload every day, manual moderation wasn't possible. Before implementing a CV moderation solution, Photobucket’s moderation team was only able to review 1% of those new images, meaning objectionable photos were much more likely to go live on the site. Now, every uploaded image passes through their NSFW filter in real time, increasing their hit rate for flagging inappropriate images by 700% and giving them much more control over what is uploaded to the site. Read more about moderation here!

Retail & CV

Computer vision is also generating real dollars for retailers like West Elm. West Elm’s Pinterest Style Finder allows users to link out to their home decor Pinterest boards to find furnishings that match their desired tastes. With Clarifai’s computer vision technology, they are now able to automatically group products by type (e.g. sofas versus rugs) and style (e.g. art deco versus modern). The tool “reads” the user’s Pinterest board to understand their aesthetic and finds the best matches among the items available for sale from West Elm. Learn more about how computer vision is impacting retail here!

And Beyond...

Computer vision's impact on business is broad and deep - it's saving money, generating revenue, and improving the lives of employees who can go back to focusing on more difficult tasks while CV takes care of the more rote ones that should be automated. From the dating industry to healthcare, no business is being left behind. With this in mind, businesses are going to have to decide if they should build or buy an AI solution - more on how to decide that here. However, most importantly, all business professionals need to understand the basics of CV. That's why we made this guide to help you out! Download it below. 

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