Brown University Department of Computer Science (Brown CS) PhD student Genevieve Patterson has just helped organize the LDV Vision Summit, a start-up conference held in New York City to address trends and technologies in digital imaging and video technology. Founded by Evan Nisselson of LDV Capital, an investment group interested in technology-focused projects across the imaging/video spectrum, the summit brought together top technologists and investors with the purpose of shaping the future of imaging and video.
Genevieve’s previous work with professor Serge Belongie of Cornell Tech, one of Nisselson’s collaborators, made her a natural choice to help run competitions and pre-judge entrants for a vibrant and diverse conference. “The summit featured an incredible variety of startups from all over the world,” she explains. “They’re creating state-of-the-art solutions for emerging topics, from wearable cameras to object detection to human tracking. Some of the solutions are extremely high-tech, while others are simple and consumer-facing.”
The summit included multiple keynote addresses (Jan Erik Solem of Mapillary on “Crowdsourcing Map Photos” and Rob Fergus of NYU and Facebook AI on “Recent Progress In Computer Vision Using Deep Learning” as just two examples), panels on such topics as the future of cameras and image recognition, and two competitions. The first, an entrepreneurial computer vision challenge, allowed experts to demonstrate solutions for problems such as summarizing video, detecting and recognizing words in YouTube video frames, and predicting the relative attributes for pairs of men and women’s shoes.
The second, a startup pitch competition, was won by Alexandre Alahi of VisioSafe, whose company uses networked cameras to analyze human behavior in physical spaces. “They went up against some impressive challengers and won,” says Genevieve. “What they’re able to do is anonymously collect patterns of movement and then provide metrics, so their clients can make better use of any location, from malls to public parks. They’re already working with Swiss Rail to improve their stations. It’s an exciting example of the opportunities that this field has to offer.”
In particular, Genevieve wants to point out that undergraduate computer science students are poised to take advantage of the considerable opportunities that are being created. “The fundamental challenges of computer vision are still new to industry,” she says, “and that requires researchers. The dozens of startups seen at LDV Vision Summit need employees. They want students to get interested in the field today. The problems are still open, and the products that we have yet to see are going to create radical change in so many aspects of everyday life.”
Anyone interested in the LDV Vision Summit can click here to follow them on Twitter, click here to go to their Web page, or click here to sign up for their newsletter for details on next year’s conference.