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Monday, January 23rd, 2012, 3:14 pm

Computer Vision Versus Big Brother


LIKE nuclear physics, good science can be exploited for bad causes. Getting access to powerful methods need not necessarily mean that this power will be benign. In fact, a lot of funding comes towards science for malicious reasons, such as war. Just look how much money gets funneled by the military industrial complex into aviation and other such research faculties/industries. There is a danger, however, which has a lot to do with how Computer Vision gets tied up with Big Brother connotations, even though Computer Vision gets used a lot to save people’s lives, e.g. in computer-guided surgeries. It would be a travesty if everyone extrapolated ideas to only show the negative uses of these ideas while ignoring the underlying science. Computer graphics is a generative science, whereas Computer Vision is more analytical. Both use models to understand nature, but one synthesises it, whereas the other converts it into information. If we are doing to assume that information collection is always a bad idea, then the World Wide Web too can be considered harmful.

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