Daily Inspiration: Artificial Intelligence – “Vision matters more than insight!”


“Vision matters more than insight!” – Futurist Jim Carroll

For some reason, the opening backdrop image for my keynote a few weeks ago for a few thousand cattle ranchers in Orlando featured some cattle being beamed up into the belly of a UFO. I’m not sure why, but heck, I’m good with it!

On with the post – and my key point is this:

Vision matters more than insight – Particularly when it comes to AI.

In this case, I’m telling two stories.

First, when it comes to the future, the ability to understand and track the trends – the insight – is critical. But if you don’t know how to turn that insight into an actionable vision for the future, then you are truly missing the opportunity that the future can bring you. That’s my first key point – and that’s why vision matters more than insight.

But there’s a second element to this story, and that is, when it comes to AI, you should realize that it is so much more than the insight that you might get via a tool like ChatGPT. That’s because even bigger real opportunities are emerging with things such as machine vision and other aspects of AI. And so – vision matters more than insight.

Most people don’t realize how significant the machine vision aspect of AI truly is – and the fact that it has already been with us for quite some time. It’s a rather mature technology – although still advancing by leaps and bounds making its impact even more significant. In fact – the applications is use are already quite prevalent.

In the field of logistics and warehousing, machine vision is being used to identify hazards in warehouses and logistics facilities to minimize risks and prevent accidents. In manufacturing, machine vision cameras are used extensively for defect detection, contaminant identification, and checking for functional flaws in manufacturing processes. Robotics? It’s all about enhancing their capabilities by providing “sight” for tasks like pick-and-place, sorting, and assembly. It also accelerates the trend towards what we refer to as ‘cobots,’ or cooperative robots, which can work in close harmony, side-by-side with humans, due to their ability to ‘see.’ Healthcare? Every field from dentistry to disease identification to x-rays and more is already wildly impacted by machine vision technologies. Infrastructure? Machine vision can look for issues related to wear-and-tear, cracks water or other damage, and more. Then there is asset tracking – machine vision technologies can identify particular assets and items by shape, bar code, or other identifiers.

I’ll often cover these issues on stage during my AI keynotes when I hone in on the AI Megatrends – with the following set of images sharing a few of the slides I share in my presentations. To start, I’ll often take the audience into my world of ‘thinking BIG.’ In Orlando, for example, I encouraged the audience of cattle ranchers to ‘think big’ about the future, by understanding that it’s almost like we exist in a world in which we’ve got ‘tricorders for cows!’ – simple devices that can quickly and simply analyze a situation based on vision.

Practically, though, the applications for machine vision are endless. There are already applications we can use that will automatically monitor, track, or count your livestock through a machine vision application.

There are applications utilizing machine vision which can easily detect particular disease or illness among the herd.

The application does this by examining the animal’s muzzle through a machine vision application…

Cameras are placed throughout the ranch providing for continuous ongoing monitoring.

Machine vision in healthcare? It’s already extremely extensive, with so many applications already in use, we can barely keep track – such as an AI model that calculates the risk of a heart attack or stroke simply by examining an X-ray.

Then there are machine vision applications used for infrastructure assessment:

Geotechnologies (Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo) had developed AI technology to evaluate the safety of sidewalks from in-vehicle camera images (announced on April 25, 2023). The developed AI technology can identify the safety of sidewalks in five stages from the scenes displayed on the left and right of the driving image, and the identification accuracy will be 97%.

Geotechnologies to develop AI technology to evaluate the safety of sidewalks from in-vehicle camera images 
2 June 2023, Nikkei Business Trends

Similarly, an automated machine vision application in road inspection does the same type of thing.

Potholes, cracks, signs of structural wear and faded line markings are some of the things the technology can pick up through a camera attached to a vehicle’s roof that’s moving at the speed limit.

AI probes our roads – Maitland City Council uses artificial intelligence to survey roads

28 July 2023 Maitland Mercury

That’s part of an overall trend in which AI is used in construction for project management.

Buildots will automatically analyse data from Sir Robert McAlpine sites across the UK, captured by wearable 360-degree cameras.

Using AI and computer vision, Buildots generates true-to-life project progress reports, identifying risks of delays and opportunities for productivity gains, which in turn provides project managers with more control, outcome certainty, and facilitates shorter project delivery times.

Sir Robert McAlpine adopts AI platform

21 June 2023
Private Companies News

Manufacturing? BlueStar, a manufacturing company in India, uses machine vision to examine and identify cracks in product assembly as part of its inspection regimen – but one example of countless use cases in the world of manufacturing.

These are but a few examples, and they are prevalent and all around us. My 30-year-old son operates the drone division for an organization – they can use a sophisticated AI algorithm to process the thousands of images captured in a 15-minute flight. He can provide detailed insight on particular applications in but a small period compared to the days it used to take utilizing previous manual methodologies.

My point is this – vision is more important than insight.

In more ways than one!


THE FUTURE BELONGS TO THOSE WHO ARE FAST features the best of the insight from Jim Carroll’s blog, in which he
covers issues related to creativity, innovation and future trends.