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How Computer Vision Engineers Develop the Eyes of AI

Facial Recognition software. Autonomous vehicles. Drone delivery. Robotics in manufacturing. 3D Printing. No longer the stuff of science fiction, these advancements are at the heart of the next evolution in the digital age. Developments are not just being made in the tech hubs of Silicon Valley, Austin, or New York, but in the mid-West. Ann Arbor, Michigan home to the University of Michigan and not too far from where Henry Ford first introduced mass production with the help of automation has been advancing robotic technologies across a variety of fields.  Giving machines their own set of eyes does require someone to ensure they have the right information to do their jobs. Enter the Computer Vision Engineer. It’s estimated this field will see a rise of 19% demand through 2026. It’s also a relatively small field with only 5,400 new job openings. So, like many professions, demand is high yet a shortage remains of those Data professionals with the right skillsets. The Business of a Computer Vision Engineer While there are a variety of roles within the field of Computer Vision, the role of Computer Vision engineer focuses on two areas. Those areas are: Writing code in Python/C++ Integrate Data Visualization, image analysis, and imaging simulation controls In addition to these areas, these scientists focus on research, implementation, reaching across teams both human and machine to help solve real world problems. And as important as knowledge and application theory are, it’s the hands-on experience which raises the bar for most employers and client companies.  Using image recognition, machine learning, and segmentation can help machines learn to differentiate various images. Being able to “see” what the computer may see and correcting it to ensure it’s more like human vision takes a special skillset. This can include: Computer Vision librariesDatabase managementComponent or object-oriented softwareAnalytical, logical, and critical thinkingClear reasoning It’s these skillsets along with a background in mathematics and computer languages like C++ which pave the Computer Vision engineer career path.  The Future of Computer Vision  The days of the generalist are long behind us. Now, more than ever, technologies like machine vision require a dedicated focus. With every field from healthcare to law enforcement to manufacturing utilizing these technologies, the future of Computer Vision performs a broader range of functions.   In Ann Arbor, at the University of Michigan and in partnership with Ford Motor Company, advancements race through every field not the least of which is manufacturing. As they transition toward full automation using the Internet of Things and more autonomous processes, it’s even more important to ensure Computer Vision models understand what they’re “seeing.” Computer Vision engineers will help to advance technologies which make machines easier to train and more easily figure out images better than they do now. Used in conjunction with other technologies like neural networks and other subsets of AI, machines will be able to see and interpret in the same way humans see and interpret.  And as far as we’ve come, there remains more applications and benefits not yet explored. The possibilities are endless. Current and future advancements will pave the way for AI to be as human as we are bringing our once science fiction ideas to life.  One Final Thought… Though Computer Vision engineering can be drilled down to even more focused professions, the term itself is broad. But the specializations are basic with a demand for not only highly skilled professionals with the right educational background, but also hands-on experience. This detail is more important now than ever before, especially for Computer Vision teams seeking leadership roles who can take their applications to the next level and on a global scale.  Some of the basic specializaitons include, but are not limited to: Camera imaging geometryFeature detection and matchingImage classification and scene analysis In the wake of work-from-home policies, remote working, and the shifting landscape of working outside the office, technology careers are prime opportunities to both gain increased knowledge in your chosen field or begin your career path.  If you’re ready to take the next step in your career, we may be able to help. Take a look at our current vacancies or get in touch with one of our expert consultants to learn more.   For our West Coast Team, contact us at (415) 614 - 4999 or send an email to sanfraninfo@harnham.com.   For our Mid-West and East Coast teams contact us at (212) 796-6070 or send an email to newyorkinfo@harnham.com.  

Reflections On The Watermark Conference For Women

This week I was fortunate enough to head down to the Watermark Conference for Women alongside our SVP, Stephanie Brooks. As we enter 2020 and women continue to shatter glass ceilings, Harnham firmly believe in a proactive approach towards placing more women in Data & Tech roles.  Diversity and inclusion are integral to our story and core beliefs and we strive to continually re-evaluate how we create measurable change in the marketplace and redefine the metrics of successful and excellent recruitment. For us, attending the conference was a chance to meet and learn from some of those women who are leading the way. Every talk inspired me in some way but there were a couple I really connected with, and I wanted to take the opportunity to reflect on how they impact the work we do at Harnham. WHAT IS WATER? One talk that struck a chord with me was Seth Godin’s breakfast keynote, inspired by a commencement speech by David Foster Wallace in which he famously tells a story of two fish out at sea. The story goes: “There are these two young fish swimming along and they happen to meet an older fish swimming the other way, who nods at them and says ‘Morning, boys. How’s the water?’ And the two young fish swim on for a bit, and then eventually one of them looks over at the other and goes ‘What the hell is water?’”. Godin’s speech was meditated on how attitudes and beliefs are the indicators of future success. In his speech, Godin echoed Wallace’s sentiment that “freedom involves attention and awareness and discipline, and being able truly to care about other people and to sacrifice for them over and over in a myriad of ways every day.” Recruitment is an industry where it is easy to swim along without questioning what water or recruitment really is. To question what is water - what is recruitment - requires thoughtful analysis, careful consideration, and of course, “attention, awareness, and discipline”. As the global leaders of Data & Analytics recruitment, we remind ourselves daily that we are responsible for making meaningful change. Water is, to us, what we make of it.  For Seth, his water is marketing. For Harnham, our water is recruitment and we stand by Wallace’s challenge to stay conscious and alive in our jobs. Day in and day out Harnham will continue to make the case for agency recruitment to be diverse and inclusive, as this is in the best economic interest of our clients.   THE ECONOMY OF DIVERSITY One of the most insightful and compelling moments of the day was a conversation between Pat Mitcheel and Indra Nooyi, the former chair and CEO of PepsiCo. Having directed the company’s global strategy for more than a decade, Nooyi is uniquely poised to discuss the importance and power of having women in every capacity within an organization.  During the conversation, she highlighted the statistics that measure the success companies achieve when women have equal representation at all levels. Currently, gender parity exists in entry-level positions but is absent in the 2nd and 3rd tiers of the workforce. While Nooyi highlighted that having a diverse and inclusive workplace should be an integral part of every company’s corporate social responsibility, she argued that this also leads to unprecedented economic growth. This aligns closely with our view of Diversity at Harnham, something which we examined in more detail in our Diversity Report.  For Nooyi, in making the case for the economics of diversity, she used the work of care economists to show how implementing policies that affected the unique interests of women are proven to not only keep women in the workforce and draw them back to work after children but are also shown to increase the economic output of countries. Institutional change at the corporate level and policies focused on those who have care-giving responsibilities have been shown to positively influence economic growth and increase the happiness and productivity of workers.  BREAKING OUT  As a woman working in a fast-paced and competitive environment, I also took a number of insights from the various break-out sessions held throughout the day. Here are a few highlights:  Women Breaking Barriers: Michelle P. King, Andrea McBride John, Pat Mitchell, Samantha Rapoport Find a mentor, be a mentor. Find a sponsor, be a sponsor. Find a sister, be a sister.Take up space and own it Share your successes with the women and men around you Building a Network of Relationships, Not Just Contacts: Laura Okmin Focus on asking people who they are, not what they do Reach out when you don’t need anything, maintain relationships  The Myth of the Nice Girl Nice people build  trust, trust is the foundation of all business relationships You don’t have to choose between kindness and strength If you want to break glass ceilings, we may have an opportunity for you. Take a look at our latest roles or get in touch with one of our expert consultants to find out more.  For our West Coast Team, call (415) 614 - 4999 or send an email to sanfraninfo@harnham.com. For our Mid-West and East Coast Team, call (212) 796 - 6070 or send an email to newyorkinfo@harnham.com. 

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