You've heard about Machine Learning and AI - and you want to see what all the fuss is about. But you don't want to spend all your time installing bazel and Jupyter? Or maybe you're running an old computer or your only computer is a phone! What now, give up? Never! Thanks to Google Colab, you can run TensorFlow in a browser window, and all the computation is handled on Google's cloud service for free. It's a great way to dabble, without all the setup
We've hacked together a Colab notebook that will use your computer/laptop/phone camera or webcam to get images which are then categorized with the Mobilenet v2 model to detect one of ~1000 different objects it recognizes. This way you can see what Mobilenet v2 can do, instantly!
The algorithm produces two outputs here:
- The identified object, given both by name (water bottle) and an id number
- Confidence Level, a measure of the algorithm's certainty
Early object detection algorithms used basic heuristics about the geometry of an object (for example, a tennis ball is usually round and green). While these had some successes, they were difficult to create and were prone to some hilarous false-positives.
In recent years, a technology called neural nets has made it possible to let computers develop the heuristics on their own, by showing them a large number of examples. Mobilenet v2 is one of the well-known models beacuse it's optimized to run on devices like your cell phone or a raspberry pi.
The authors of Mobilenet v2 claim it runs in 143ms on a Pixel 1. It can recognize 1000 different objects, including:
- animals, like fish, birds, and turtles
- household items, like brooms, coffee mugs, and pens
- airplanes, golf carts, mopeds