After a week of conferences and presentations, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers's annual Computer Society Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition is wrapping up today. If that's a little too advanced for your awareness, it's the yearly conference where some of the brightest minds in the field of search and machine learning gather to present their research and discuss some of the latest findings from their work. While most of what these search wizards will discuss at CVPR will be far above the understanding of most people in this world, the research being done by some of the conferences attendees will ultimately impact our online lives by, among other things, improving the quality of search results when we go diving through the internet.
Researchers from Microsoft attended CVPR in order to present to their colleagues 41 scientific articles about what they've been working on in the world of computing. Dr. Harry Shum, Bing's Research and Development Corporate Vice President, updated Bing's Search Blog today with some details about what topics the Microsoft team talked about at the conference:
In particular, the article Salient Object Detection for Searched Web Images via Global Saliency describes an innovative technique to detect the existence of objects for thumbnail images. Microsoft Research has described this article in some detail in this blog and the method has been shipped in the Bing image search engine. Other interesting CVPR articles from Microsoft that cover search topics in CVPR are Scalable k-NN graph construction for Visual Descriptors, Fast approximate k-means via cluster closures, and Image search results refinement via outlier detection using deep contexts.
Unless you hold an advanced degree in computer engineering, that last sentence probably sailed over your head (it did mine). However, the research Shum described still trickles down to your everyday internet experience. Rob Knies, a Senior Writer at Microsoft's research blog, described in a post today how, for example, all of that science lingo-heavy research translates into everyday uses, like some of the updates you'll see in Bing's recently updated image search capabilities.
As I've mentioned before, but terribly easy to forget that the internet isn't some natural organism growing out of an invisible techno-orchard hidden somewhere behind the clouds. It's kind of humbling to be reminded that there are actually legions of human beings equipped with inhumanly intelligent brains out there toiling and testing new theories in computing that helps shape the internet that we know and love (and, really, need) today.