Limits of computer vision: Computers don’t have arms

July 1, 2021

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Written By
Sara Gioia

The Problem: Computer vision needs some help

Computer vision, or the process of teaching a computer to “see” like a human does, is becoming more and more popular. When it comes to surveillance, computers often perform better than humans because they can monitor multiple high-resolution video feeds simultaneously, and they don’t get distracted by cute videos of reptiles or office gossip. They can also access places that are too small, dark, or unsafe for humans such as conveyor belt junctions in salt mines. But what happens when the computer “sees” something unexpected, whether it’s a person accessing a restricted area, a too-large truck backing into a loading bay, or a fraying conveyor belt?

Therein lies the problem with most computer vision platforms: they can be very good at identifying specific items, people or events, but they can’t inherently do anything with that information. Ultimately, the business users are left with yet another piece of well-intentioned technology that is too complex to use.

The Solution: Automate the workflows

Kogniz believes that computer vision is only helpful if it creates definite outcomes, which is why we've designed the Kogniz AssureAI platform to include robust reporting, dashboards, and workflow functions.  Kogniz doesn't stop when a camera identifies a person sleeping in an alcove outside of your building, Kogniz recognizes that a person is there, alerts the night shift guard, updates a safety dashboard, maps the "incident hotspots," and, if the night shift guard doesn't respond within 15 minutes, calls 911.  And all of those steps can be set up quickly and easily by the Kogniz end user within a single platform long before an incident occurs.

Computer vision pipe dream--and a lot of work

If a company chose to use a popular cloud platform to manage the same type of workflow, they'd first have to use an AI development kit to build a model to detect people.  Then they'd have to use a separate automation tool to set conditional triggers and then they'd have to activate an SMS or email alert tool from within the automation system (likely hard-coded unless they want to try to integrate with a database that shows who is working at what time), then they'd build a dashboard in an external reporting system for their executives to access. 

Kogniz takes the integration work out of the equation and provides a single platform that both recognizes an incident in real time AND gives you the ability to take action immediately. Imagine how that could help your organization to manage incidents more quickly and more safely.

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