Something strange, scary and sublime is happening to cameras, and it’s going to complicate everything you knew about pictures. Cameras are getting brains.
Until the past few years, just about all cameras — whether smartphones or point-and-shoots or CCTV surveillance — were like eyes disconnected from any intelligence.
They captured anything you put in front of them, but they didn’t understand a whit about what they were seeing. Even basic facts about the world eluded them. It’s crazy, for instance, that in 2018, your smartphone doesn’t automatically detect when you’ve taken naked pictures of yourself and offer to house them under an extra-special layer of security.
But all this is changing. There’s a new generation of cameras that understand what they see. They’re eyes connected to brains, machines that no longer just see what you put in front of them, but can act on it — creating intriguing and sometimes eerie possibilities.
At first, these cameras will promise to let us take better pictures, to capture moments that might not have been possible with every dumb camera that came before. That’s the pitch Google is making with Clips, a new camera that went on sale on Tuesday. It uses so-called machine learning to automatically take snapshots of people, pets and other things it finds interesting.
I had my IB students sign up for Hacktoberfest which is open to everyone in the global community!
The learning target was to learn how to participate in the global open source software development community.
- Seen here, the first student with a shirt awarded for making four pull requests between October 1–31 in any timezone. Pull requests can be to any public repo on GitHub. Pull requests reported by maintainers as spam or that are automated will be marked as invalid and won’t count towards the shirt.
A powerful statement about the kind of learner who can be successful in software engineering!
Ever try killing a fly, feel like you just aren’t fast enough, well, you aren’t…at least most of us aren’t
Actually, from the fly’s perspective, you quite literally are moving in slow motion, because every species experiences time differently. The reason? Differences in sight.
All animals, including humans, see the world in what’s essentially a seamless movie. What’s really happening, however, is that the brain is taking individual images sent from the eye at a fixed rate per second in distinct flashes and piecing them together.
The rate at which this occurs is called “flicker-fusion frequency,” which is measured by determining how rapidly a light needs to be switched on and off before it appears to an animal as a continuous stream. Scientists measure this in insects by hooking up tiny glass electrodes to the photoreceptors of its eyes and flashing light at increasingly fast speeds, all while a computer graphs the signals sent from the photoreceptors.
It turns out this rate is different for every animal. The general rule is: the smaller the species, the quicker the vision.
Humans see about 60 flashes per second while flies see about 250 – a full four times faster than humans.
In fact, the majority of flying animals, including vertebrates, have faster vision than humans – possibly because it’s mortally important that they’re to quickly react and dodge obstacles.