Artificial selection as the driver for learning a computer vision task

Sculpture of Charles Darwin. Image by Hulki Okan Tabak from Unsplash

There is a large population of squirrels living in my backyard. Evolution gave them the perfect size and agility to conquer both the trees and the land. Until a few years ago, this squirrel society lived happily without interacting much with their human neighbors.

At some point, my wife set up a bird feeder so we could watch the birds up close. These attractive seeds presented an unexpected opportunity for the squirrels. Although the environment they evolved in doesn’t include any seed dispenser, they invented new behaviors to reach their goal. …

Location, location, location.

It may be easy to forget, but whatever is going on inside our electronic gadgets is not magic. I am amazed by the thought that some products are so complex that no single person can comprehend how every part interacts precisely, yet a manufacturing process exists, such that the thing that is shipped out of the plant works. Anything that involves integrated circuits certainly falls into that category.

If you’ve looked attentively at a printed circuit board (PCB), you might have noticed small golden disks that are not electrically connected to any other structures. …

Hands-on Tutorials

Let the observations decide which ones are consistent.

We should all be grateful to the ancient Greeks for giving us democracy. With all its flaws, until someone comes up with a better idea, it remains the best system available to maximize the common good — or to minimize the common dissatisfaction, depending on the way you choose to look at it.

Image of the Parthenon by Amir Hanna from Unsplash

At the core of this political system resides the idea that the more people will put their weight in the balance, the lower the probability that the majority will be wrong. It is a heuristic that only holds most of the time. I’m sure you can think…

Converting from pixels to millimeters, and vice-versa

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to live in Flatland? I don’t know about you, but I feel no inclination to downgrade the universe to two dimensions. I am satisfied with the possibilities offered by a 3D space, such as tying knots in my shoelaces and other topological gratifications.

When coding automated inspection, it is common to have to venture into Flatland. For example, you might consider an inspection system where parts are moving on a conveyor belt, and a camera is grabbing images from the top. In this scenario, the interesting objects are constrained to the…

Sébastien Gilbert

Computer Vision and Machine Learning Engineer at IBM.

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