What is Computer Vision and How does it work?

Computer vision is a field of Artificial Intelligence that deals with the extraction of meaning from digital images or videos. Computer vision techniques are used in a wide variety of applications, such as self-driving cars, facial recognition, and medical image analysis.

The goal of computer vision is to train computers to see and understand the world in the same way that humans do. This is a challenging task, as the human visual system is incredibly complex. However, computer vision has made significant progress in recent years, and there are now many computer vision applications that are in use today.

Techniques used in Computer Vision

There are many different techniques used in computer vision, but some of the most common include:

  1. Image Acquisition
  2. Preprocessing
  3. Image Classification
  4. Feature Extraction
  5. Object Detection and Recognition
  6. Image Understanding and Analysis
  7. Image and Video Processing
  8. Optical character recognition (OCR)

Image Acquisition

Images or videos are captured using cameras or obtained from other sources such as databases or the internet.


The acquired images may undergo preprocessing techniques such as resizing, filtering, noise removal, and normalization to enhance their quality and facilitate subsequent analysis.

Image classification

Image classification is the ability to assign a label to an image. Image classification is used in a wide variety of applications, such as classifying medical images, classifying product images, and classifying social media images.

Feature Extraction

Computer Vision algorithms extract relevant features from the images. These features may include edges, corners, textures, shapes, colors, or higher-level visual descriptors.

Object Detection and Recognition

Computer Vision algorithms aim to identify and localize specific objects or regions of interest within the images. This involves techniques such as object detection, segmentation, and classification, where objects are classified into predefined categories.

Image Understanding and Analysis

Computer Vision algorithms analyze images to gain a deeper understanding of their content. This may involve tasks such as scene recognition, image captioning, image retrieval, and visual understanding of relationships between objects.

Image and Video Processing

Computer Vision techniques enable image and video enhancement, restoration, and manipulation, including tasks such as image denoising, super-resolution, image synthesis, and video tracking.

Optical character recognition (OCR)

OCR is the ability to extract text from images or videos. OCR is used in a wide variety of applications, such as reading documents, reading signs, and reading barcodes.

Advantages and Disadvantages of using Computer Vision

Here are some of the advantages of using computer vision:

  1. Computer vision can be used to automate tasks that would otherwise be done by humans, such as object detection, image classification, and face recognition.
  2. Computer vision can be used to gain insights into the world around us, by analyzing images and videos.
  3. Computer vision can be used to create new and innovative applications, such as self-driving cars and virtual reality.

Here are some of the disadvantages of using computer vision:

  1. Computer vision systems can be biased, and they can reflect the biases that are present in the data that they are trained on.
  2. Computer vision systems can be privacy-invasive, and they can collect and store large amounts of data about people's images and videos.
  3. Computer vision systems can be computationally expensive, and they may not be able to run on devices with limited resources.

Computer Vision Applications

Computer Vision finds applications in various domains, including autonomous vehicles, robotics, surveillance systems, medical imaging, augmented reality, and quality control in manufacturing, among others. Some specific tasks within Computer Vision include face recognition, object detection and tracking, image segmentation, pose estimation, and 3D reconstruction.


Computer Vision plays a vital role in enabling machines to "see" and understand the visual world, bridging the gap between humans and machines and paving the way for numerous applications that require visual perception and analysis.