Benedict Evans on computer vision:
However, I think its also worth thinking much more broadly about what computer vision in particular might now mean - thinking about what it might mean that images and video will become almost as transparent to computers as text has always been. You could always search text for dog but could never search pictures for a dog - now youll be able to do both, and, further, start to get some understanding of what might actually be happening.
We should expect that every image ever taken can be searched or analyzed, and some kind of insight extracted, at massive scale. Every glossy magazine archive is now a structured data set, and so is every video feed. With that incentive (and that smarthone supply chain) far more images and video will be captured.
So, some questions for the future:
- Every autonomous car will, necessarily, capture HD 360 degree video whenever its moving. Who owns that data, what else can you do with it beyond driving and how do our ideas of privacy adjust?
- A retailer can deploy cheap commodity wireless HD cameras thoughout the store, or a mall operator the mall, and finally know exactly what track every single person entering took through the building, and what they looked at, and then connect that to the tills for purchase data. How much does that change (surviving) retail?
- What happens to the fashion industry when half a dozen static $100 cameras can tell you everything that anyone in Shoreditch wore this year - when you can trace a trend through social and street photography from start to the mass-market, and then look for the next emerging patterns?
- What happens to ecommerce recommendations when a system might be able to infer things about your taste from your Instagram or Facebook photos, without needing tags or purchase history - when it can see your purchase history in your selfies?