Supercomputers are becoming more and more sophisticated; they can now animate paintings and generate photorealistic images on their own!
Although there is a lot to be amazed about, it can be challenging to see how to translate this fantastic technology into business value. It is essential to keep in mind what Computer Vision actually does. In general, one can say that Computer Vision does three things:
Computer Vision extracts knowledge from images:
At first, computers perceive images as a series of color values that do not make sense on their own. However, by using sophisticated algorithms, the computer can see that the image actually depicts a parking lot with nine parked cars and five empty spaces. In this way, the computer obtains a much more useful representation of the image.
Computer Vision provides new data for further analysis:
The knowledge we have gained from the images can be used to conduct further value-creating analyses. For example, with the parking lot example, we could use our knowledge of how many cars are parked at a given time to create a real-time guide to available spaces or analyze when and how often the parking lot is full.
Computer Vision automates the acquisition of new data:
By outsourcing the extraction of knowledge to algorithms, the rate of new information can be significantly increased. Instead of having an employee count cars in the parking lot for an hour a week, we can now receive an update in real-time 24/7.
Based on these basic properties, there are numerous applications in the financial sector with great potential. Here are two specific examples:
Every day, the Earth's satellites produce over 150 terabytes of data. It is far more than any human can oversee. The data contains almost infinite potential with information about temperature, weather, and radiation, but primarily images. Fortunately, it's just a task for Computer Vision. With the help of Computer Vision, for example, one could use the images to analyze container traffic from the largest ports in Denmark (point 1) and use this data to build forecasting models for expected trade (point 2). Satellite data could also be used to analyze progress in various construction projects and use it as a measure of development in the area or as input to traffic models. Only imagination (and skilled data scientists) sets limits!
Digitise your paper!
Many businesses still have critical information in paper form. This makes it harder to access for both people and analysis. Here, Computer Vision also comes to the rescue. By using text recognition and advanced language technology (NLP), you can digitize the documents so that they are easier to find for your employees and can also be more actively involved in your analyzes. As soon as the documents are digital, it opens up the almost magical NLP toolbox, which you can read more about in this blog post.
There is no doubt that we have only seen the beginning of what Computer Vision can do. And the sooner you realize the potential of this technology and what it can contribute to your business, the better positioned you are to take full advantage of Computer Vision in the future.