Developer teams up with Facebook and Google to make ‘machines see’

Now ‘machines see’ with this open source computer vision platform created by a Russian developer

A Russian developer in collaboration with Facebook and Google has designed an open source computer vision platform that behaves like a teaching machine and enables them “see”.

This is developed as a global open-source computer vision project by VisionLabs, a solutions developer in the field of computer vision, data analysis and robotics, and a Skolkovo IT Cluster resident with the support of Facebook and Google, an official said.

VisionLabs combined two popular libraries for developers – OpenCV and Torch. “The two IT giants became interested in the in-depth study of neural networks and artificial intelligence and hence extended their support,” the official told IANS. The joint project with Facebook and Google was launched last year.

The OpenCV Open Source Computer Vision Library and the Torch Open Source Scientific Computing Framework are the most popular tools for developers in this field along with wide support for Machine Learning Algorithms. Every one of them has thousands of users. While VisionLabs started combing the two libraries, Google and Facebook financed the work and verified the outcomes.

Balmanohar Paluri, Research Lead, Facebook AI Research, said: “The project opens up the field of computer vision to a greater audience of developers. Our focus is making machines see. To do that, knowledge needs to be open.”

Several technological barriers confronted by the developers within the fields of computer vision and neural networks were removed, as a result of the work accepted. Henceforth, any start-up in this field can launch a project in a matter of days where it could factually take years before.

Facebook, Google, and VisionLabs do not think about this a commercial project – its purpose is developing the community and its goal is long-term prospects.

For some time now, the idea of combining the two popular developer “worlds” had been on the cards of the creators of Torch and OpenCV who had been discussing it. However, as often is the case, nobody really set about making the incorporation materialize, the official explained.

Ultimately, it was one of the top three world leaders in terms of image recognition, VisionLabs who was prepared to make the project happen and use its own knowledge to do so that had only been applied inside the team in the past.

Alexander Khanin, General Director, VisionLabs said they “regularly communicate with the world scientific community and attend all the important international conferences.”

“We are already well-known and we are familiar with the research units of Google, Facebook, Twitter and other large-scale IT-companies. When the closed competition to become the project leader was launched, we put ourselves forward and, in the end, we were chosen. Google and Facebook financed our work, but I would like to reiterate that this is absolutely not a commercial project for us – all funds, that were in fact rather modest, were put to use,” he added.

Albert Efimov, Head of the Skolkovo Robotics Centre, said: “Integration of machine learning and computer vision in a unified development kit is an important step towards stimulating the creation of the new technologies and products in such strategic industries as robotics and artificial intelligence.”

Recently, the torch.ch community that reaches 10,000-15,000 people a day carried a report that was published on the amalgamation of Torch and OpenCV with instances of the developed recognition software and fragments of source code.

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