Kickstarter Campaign For AI Computer Vision Courses
Written by Sue Gee   
Wednesday, 22 May 2019

OpenCV has initiated a Kickstarter to fund the creation of online AI courses, two in computer vision and a third on Deep Learning with PyTorch. The goal of $5,000 was quickly surpassed - and it looks as though it could even go beyond $500,000 before it closes on June 13th.

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Open CV, the open source library of  computer vision and machine learning algorithms is widely regarded as the workhorse of day-to-day computer vision. If you want to include a computer vision algorithm, edge finding, face detection, object tracking, etc. in your application then you can simply download Open CV and find the appropriate algorithm.

Originally an Intel Research initiative, its initial alpha version was released, under a BSD licence in 2000. After reaching Version 1.0 in 2006, it is now at  Version 4.0. OpenCV is used by companies, including Google, Yahoo, Microsoft, Intel, IBM, research groups and governmental bodies; estimated downloads exceeds 18 million and it has a user community of more than 47,000.

The Kickstarter, which launched two weeks ago, is to enable LearnOpenCV.com to create courses for beginners to learn about computer vision, machine learning an AI. Announcing the Kickstarter on the LearnOpenCV blog, Satya , who is Interim CEO of OpenCV says that: 

at OpenCV.org, we have adopted a mission to not only build the best open source computer vision library in the world, but also to create the most comprehensive online courses to educate a global workforce. 

As Mallick outlines in the video the series of three courses is designed to take you from being a beginner to mastery of computer vision and is aimed at multiple groups:

  • Students interested in a career in AI
  • Programmers who want to make a career switch into Computer Vision
  • Engineers who want to use new AI techniques at your current job 
  • Entrepreneur who dream of an AI startup but do not yet know the basics
  • Hobbyists who wants to build cool DIY projects
  • Computer vision practitioners waning to broaden their area of expertise 

The Kickstarter description states:

We have designed these courses for beginners in mind and our goal is to prepare students with practical skills to solve real-world problems and to stand out in the job market. 

These courses are not for shallow learners who simply want to copy-paste code. These courses will require your time and commitment. 

Promising a mix of theoretical and practical the course description continues:

We will build practical applications on top of a solid understanding of underlying algorithms.

We will learn enough theoretical details to understand how algorithms work without drowning in the mathematical details.

In all three courses, our goal is to complete 3-4 practical projects from different domains. We will also have a few short assignments along with the lectures.

Among the  planned projects are :

  • Healthcare – Analyze X-ray images using Deep Learning, Build patient monitoring system
  • Surveillance and security – Build a Face Recognition based attendance management system, build a people counting and surveillance system
  • Autonomous vehicles – How to identify different objects on the road using the Dashcam, Lane Detection, Drowsy driver detection
  • Fun applications – SnapChat and Instagram like Filters, QR Code based ID Card reader

It also states that the only pre-requisite is an intermediate level of expertise in Python or C++.

Although the Early Bird Offers are already off the table, if you pledge to the Kickstarter before 13th June you save 50% off both the individual courses and the Bundle Prices - which represent a saving on the courses taken individually and are aimed at different sectors of the audience:

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So far Bundle 4, including all three of the first round of courses, is the most popular option accounting for 700 of the 940 rewards claimed so far. Interestingly while there are even better deals for  multiple-seat discounts (Bundle 4 for 5 or 10 employees  at $1,999 and $3,499 respectively) none of these have been claimed.

Other advantages of taking up the Kickstarter offer are:

  • 12 months for completing the projects and getting the certification. It will be 6 months afterwards. 
  • Access to both C++ and Python version of the first 2 courses without any additional cost.

And you'll also experience the "first cohort" experience, which any graduate of the 2011 Introduction to AI Class or any of the all-time great MOOCs can tell you is a mixed blessing of excitement, enthusiasm and teething troubles.

From the point of view of discussion forums being part of a 1,000+ class means there will always be someone to talk to. But given a class of this size will the instructors be able to make good on the promise:

We will support our students in our course forums. You read it right -- our instructors will help you out if you are stuck. 

Hopefully the level of overfunding will allow for a properly qualified course support team to be available. 

The rapid take up of these courses reveals a great thirst for knowledge in this area. It also indicates that people are prepared to pay for training from established experts with the prospect of an OpenCV certificate, to act as a passport to opportunities in an exciting field.

  

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More Information

OpenCV Kickstarter 

Related Articles

More Machine Learning Courses From Google

Google Provides Free Machine Learning For All

OpenCV 3.0 Released - Computer Vision For The Rest Of Us

OpenCV 4.0 Says Goodbye To C 

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Last Updated ( Wednesday, 22 May 2019 )