Dr. Fei-Fei Li Makes the Case for Computer Vision During #BigThinkers Talk

Nov 14, 2013

Dr. Fei-Fei Li, Big ThinkersWe were pleased to host our final #BigThinkers speaker series guest of the year, Dr. Fei-Fei Li, earlier today. Dr. Li, Associate Professor of Computer Science and Director of the Stanford Vision Lab, gave a compelling talk on the importance of computer vision on a broad scale, and to the scientific community more specifically. Her talk, entitled "Computer Vision: a Quest for Visual Intelligence," began with a history of computer vision, discussed the current state of the research field, and concluded with an optimistic outlook on the future of the science.       The event was broadcast live on our homepage and viewers had the opportunity to ask questions and comment on our Twitter stream @YahooLabs as well as our Facebook page. You can view Dr. Li's full presentation here:   ABSTRACT            More than half of the human brain is involved in visual processing. While it took mother nature billions of years to evolve and deliver us a remarkable human visual system, computer vision is one of the youngest disciplines of AI, born with the goal of achieving one of the loftiest dreams of AI. The central problem of computer vision is to turn millions of pixels of a single image into interpretable and actionable concepts so that computers can understand pictures just as well as humans do, from objects, to scenes, activities, events and beyond. Such technology will have a fundamental impact in almost every aspect of our daily life and the society as a whole, ranging from e-commerce, image search and indexing, assistive technology, autonomous driving, digital health and medicine, surveillance, national security, robotics and beyond. In this talk, I will give an overview of what computer vision technology is about and its brief history. I will then discuss some of the recent work from my lab towards large scale object recognition. I will particularly emphasize on what we call the “three pillars” of AI in our quest for visual intelligence: data, learning and knowledge. Each of them is critical towards the final solution, yet dependent on the other. This talk draws upon a number of projects ongoing at the Stanford Vision Lab.   BIOGRAPHICAL NOTE Fei-Fei Li is an associate professor at the Computer Science Department and the director of the Vision Lab. Prior to joining Stanford, she was on faculty at Princeton University (2007-2009) and University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (2005-2006). Fei-Fei obtained her B.A. degree in physics from Princeton in 1999 with High Honors, and her PhD degree in electrical engineering from California Institute of Technology (Caltech) in 2005. Fei-Fei's main research interest is in vision, particularly high-level visual recognition. In computer vision, Fei-Fei's interests include image and video classification, retrieval, and understanding. Some of the most recent work in her lab relates to fundamental technological problems related to large-scale Internet data, mobile computing, machine learning and artificial intelligence. In human vision, she has studied the interaction of attention and natural scene and object recognition, and decoding the human brain fMRI activities that are known as "mind reading" of the brain. Research by Fei-Fei and colleagues have appeared in top-tier journals and conferences such as Nature, PNAS, Journal of Neuroscience, CVPR, ICCV, NIPS, ECCV, IJCV, IEEE-PAMI, etc. In addition, research from Fei-Fei's lab have been featured in New York Times, New Scientists and a number of popular press magazines and newspapers. Fei-Fei is a recipient of the 2011 Alfred Sloan Faculty Award, 2012 Yahoo Labs FREP award, 2009 NSF CAREER award, the 2006 Microsoft Research New Faculty Fellowship and a number of Google Research awards.   YAHOO LABS BIG THINKERS SPEAKER SERIES Yahoo Labs is proud to bring you its 2013 Big Thinkers Speaker Series. Each year, some of the most influential, accomplished experts from the research community visit our campus to share their insights on topics that are significant to Yahoo. These distinctive speakers are shaping the future of the new sciences underlying the Web and are guaranteed to inform, enlighten, and inspire.