Research Lives: Dr Suzanne Little, Dublin City University lecturer and researcher in the Insight Centre for Data Analytics

You teach computers how to see – tell us more: Computers are good at a lot of things, but seeing isn’t one of them. When we humans look at a picture we can make sense of it quickly, but it is impractical for humans to sift through millions of images or hundreds of hours of video.

So we develop software to “teach” computers how to look for things in pictures, then they can do the hard labour of pulling that information out of mountains of images.

When might this be useful? We work on a few different situations to help people get more useful information out of video footage. One is the Smart Stadium project between DCU, Arizona State University, Croke Park and Intel. In that case, computers being able to track crowds from camera images around the stadium [could] help manage those crowds more easily as they move around. If something happens, say someone falls or there is a surge, it is really hard for a human to find that, but if a computer knows what to look for, it can find it and alert a human. We also use cameras and imaging software to observe the grass on the pitch and we can analyse footage from games to help players and coaches figure out how they can up their game.


Read more here.