Computer vision is a field of artificial intelligence (AI) that enables computers and systems to derive meaningful information from digital images, videos and other visual inputs — and take actions or make recommendations based on that information.
Computer vision works much the same as human vision, except humans have a head start. Human sight has the advantage of lifetimes of context to train how to tell objects apart, how far away they are, whether they are moving and whether there is something wrong in an image.
Computer vision trains machines to perform these functions, but it has to do it in much less time with cameras, data and algorithms rather than retinas, optic nerves and a visual cortex. Because a system trained to inspect products or watch a production asset can analyze thousands of products or processes a minute, noticing imperceptible defects or issues, it can quickly surpass human capabilities.
Computer vision is used in industries ranging from energy and utilities to manufacturing and automotive – and the market is continuing to grow.