From a Guest Post on The British Library’s Digital Scholarship Blog:
The University of Oxford’s Visual Geometry Group has been working with a number of British Library curators to apply computer vision technology to their collections.
Computer vision – the extraction of meaning from images – has made considerable strides in recent years, particularly through the application of so-called ‘deep learning’ to large datasets. Cultural collections provide some of the most interesting test-cases for computer vision researchers, due to their complexity; the intensity of interest that researchers bring to them; and to their importance for human well-being.
As a relatively new technology, computer vision attracts legitimate concerns about privacy, ethics and fairness. By making its state of the art tools freely available, Visual Geometry hope to encourage experimentation and responsible use, and to enlist users to help determine what it can and cannot do.