A great deal of thought has gone into machine learning over the last few years. And with products like HoloLens destined to hit the market in the near future, Microsoft in particular has gone to great lengths to ensure continued advancement in this field.
To this point, one of the most difficult tasks has been to simply teach the machine about its environment, however a new project from Microsoft Research promises to project thinking on the topic even further: Semantic Paint.
The premise is simple, using the software, it is possible to teach the program about its environment, labeling objects and correcting mistakes to start with, after which it is able to recognize its environment with more accuracy than was previously possible. Typically, machines are only 'intelligent' in a very selective sense; they can execute given commands but cannot 'improvise'. Projects such as Semantic Paint represent a small but significant step in the advance towards further autonomy for machines. As the user is able to correct the machine simply, and in real-time, it is the interactivity of this project that is truly innovative.
Its applications do not stop there however, also stepping heavily into HoloLens territory. As the visors are able to recognize their environment, so too will this project help to allow HoloLens to become 'smarter'. As the process is completed online, working with the cloud, it is possible for analysis and solutions to be completed very quickly, compared to the days and hours that are often necessary to complete such calculations at the moment. Given the simplistic nature of correction, it also democratizes the process of development to participate, at least to a degree.
Expect to see more developments like this as work on HoloLens continues to ramp up as Microsoft seeks to seize the moment and make its mark.
What other uses do you see for Semantic Paint? Let us know in the comments below.Further reading: HoloLens, Microsoft Research