<graphics, artificial intelligence> The identification of objects in an image.
This process would probably start with image processing techniques such as noise removal, followed by (low-level) feature extraction to locate lines, regions and possibly areas with certain textures.
The clever bit is to interpret collections of these shapes as single objects, e.g. cars on a road, boxes on a conveyor belt or cancerous cells on a microscope slide.
One reason this is an AI problem is that an object can appear very different when viewed from different angles or under different lighting. Another problem is deciding what features belong to what object and which are background or shadows etc.
The human visual system performs these tasks mostly unconsciously but a computer requires skillful programming and lots of processing power to approach human performance.
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