Meet NEIL, the Never Ending Image Learner. Its mission? To scour the Internet, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, building and strengthening its database. Its goal? To teach itself common sense.
Of course, computers can’t think, reason, or rationalize in quite the same way as humans, but researchers at Carnegie Mellon University are using Computer Vision and Machine Learning as ways of optimizing the capabilities of computers.
NEIL’s task isn’t so much to deal with hard data, like numbers, which is what computers have been doing since they first were created. Instead, NEIL goes a step further, translating the visual world into useful information by way of identifying colors and lighting, classifying materials, recognizing distinct objects, and more. This information then is used to make general observations, associations, and connections, much like the human mind does at an early age.
While computers aren’t capable of processing this information with an emotional response–a critical component that separates them from humans–there are countless tasks that NEIL can accomplish today or in the near future that will help transform the way we live. Think about it: how might Computer Vision and Machine Learning change the way you live, work, and interact with your environment?