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  • Writer's pictureOverwatch Imaging

Observations From The (Cutting) Edge

Monumental opportunities, exciting challenges lie ahead

By Rachel McKay Overwatch Imaging Chief Operating Officer


I recently attend the 2023 Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition (CVPR) in Vancouver, British Columbia. CVPR is the preeminent computer vision event for new research in support of artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), augmented and virtual reality (AR/VR), deep learning, and much more. The conference was full of eager young minds, sharing new ideas through a forum of presenting research papers, posters and industry leading speakers.



On day one of the Exhibition, attendees were lined up at the door, eager to network and collaborate, sharing their research and asking for access to data to train their models and push their results further. The conference was alight with excitement and my head is still spinning from all that I learned.


"What an exciting time to be at the forefront of the next technology boom!"

Having also attended Association for Unmanned Vehicle System International’s (AUVSI) Xponential and the Special Air Warfare Symposium conferences earlier this year, I observed overarching themes around solutions for Joint All-Domain Command and Control (JADC2)1. This is the Department of Defense’s multibillion-dollar initiative to establish a combined network of sensors to provide real-time decision-making across all military domains. Attending these industry-leading conferences this year, I can’t help but be struck by the vignette of opportunity that is before us - the potential of AI and the challenge of connecting existing infrastructure.



Based on my observations at these events, to be successful in the coming months and years, industry must be able to navigate the following challenges:


  1. Computer vision using AI techniques will continue to improve at an exponential rate. Understanding user needs and mission sets will continue to be important to success. Having access to good training data is key.

  2. Taking large data sets and distributing the most critical piece of information at the right time will become increasingly important for users. The information that is displayed will need to be flexible and adjusted frequently, based on inputs given to the system.

  3. Ease of use and automation will be key. There will be so many sources of data, so sifting through and processing the data will need to happen in the background, so the operator can focus on the best response.

The Fourth Industrial Revolution2 is changing the way humans live, as was tremendously evident at CVPR, with all the advancements in the AI space. By blending technologies between physical and digital spheres, huge advances are occurring extremely quickly, to not only solve problems, but also create mass disruptions in almost every industry.


AI capabilities are compounding exponentially, not only for the things it can do, but how fast it can advance and iterate on those things. Being at the crux of automated sensor operations using AI/ML and computer vision techniques, as well as operating at the edge to provide decisions makers with time-critical intelligence, Overwatch Imaging is in a unique space to capitalize on these emerging trends.


What an exciting time to be at the forefront of the next technology boom!




Rachel McKay is an accomplished systems engineer with three master’s degrees and nearly two decades of technical leadership in aerospace. As Overwatch Imaging's Chief Operations Officer, Rachel is responsible for day-to-day internal operations and orchestrating operational excellence. A dynamic leader, Rachel is known for driving growth, optimizing efficiencies, and fostering cross-functional collaboration to implement the company’s vision, ensuring mission-critical capabilities are delivered to customers.



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