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The Spring of Sight

··5 mins

I’ve Published a Nonfiction Book!

It’s called The Spring of Sight: An Inflection Point for Computer Vision and Society.

For now, it’s available as an eBook on the Amazon Kindle store (temporarily 99¢) and Kobo. Paperback pre-orders ship in early June 2023, and will be generally available for regular orders after that.

Short Synopsis

Learn about the current renaissance in Computer Vision, the branch of AI where engineers and academics are teaching computers to “see” and interface with the world based on visual information. Imagine where these technologies might lead us, as a society.

Early Hype

Smart/kind people wrote positive things about the pre-release manuscript. I’m so grateful to my advance readers! Makes me feel like the last ~20 months of research, writing, and editing have been worth it..?

“A comprehensive and well-researched exploration of the latest 
advancements in AI and systems design. Robert does an excellent job of 
balancing theoretical foundations with practical applications, making it 
an invaluable resource for students and professionals alike.”

- Dr. Artem Trotsyuk, AI Ethics Fellow with the Stanford Center for 
Biomedical Ethics

“A very practical and easy-to-read introduction on how AI computer 
vision manifests in many facets of our lives today. From AI computer 
vision's theoretical origins to today's self-driving cars, the book 
gives a thorough overview of where we are, and where could be headed 
with the technology through technical, political, and moral discourses.”

- Bruce Li, Director and Screenwriter

We hit the ground running on the amazon kindle store, hitting #1 bestseller in “Privacy & Surveillance,” momentarily surpassing Cathy O’Neil’s essential Weapons of Math Destruction:

It was also #1 in hot new “Computer Vision & Pattern Recognition” books:

I’m chuffed! Now I’d better apply for some book awards or something, or my 15 minutes of fame will be even shorter.

Long Synopsis

The Spring of Sight is a journalistic tour of today’s renaissance in Computer Vision, the branch of AI where engineers and researchers are teaching computers to “see” and interface with the world based on visual information.

My writing journey began when I realized that the average person in my immediate circle was unaware of the quiet revolution happening in computer vision, a field that many don’t know exists. The explosive acceleration of this field will have a lasting impact on the world around you, from how you’re treated at the hospital to how you get to the grocery store.

My hope is that in reading The Spring of Sight, you will discover just how pervasive this suite of technologies is going to become in your world on several scales, and what you can do to prepare. Over the course of the book’s twelve chapters, I hope to instill in you the same sort of cautious optimism that I harbor with respect to computer vision.

Ultimately, I want you to see this book as a tool to help you add your voice to the conversation, so that you can navigate and ultimately help sculpt what might otherwise become a dystopian future.

As you read, you’ll learn about computer vision’s potential to:

  • Ease the burden on overworked healthcare workers
  • Curb gambling addiction
  • Be incredibly harmful (like, terribly racist)
  • Supercharge Hollywood and sports broadcasting
  • Transform the consumer experience

Also featured:

  • How China and Russia have deployed computer vision in Orwellian ways (that we should avoid)
  • Exclusive interviews with bleeding-edge researchers and engineers (at e.g. MIT, FLIR, and Adobe)

You will love The Spring of Sight if you’re excited about technology’s promise to improve our lives and society—or if you’re a skeptic who feels that tech “solutions” only dig us into deeper trouble. Readers of Popular Science/Mechanics, the technology section of the news, John Carreyrou’s Bad Blood, or Cathy O’Neil’s Weapons of Math Destruction should get a kick out of this.

The Spring of Sight is a nonfiction book that speaks to futurists and activists who are looking at image-based automation and mass surveillance for the first time.

About the Author

Robert Boscacci is the former Data Science Lead at Butter Works, a startup that used computer vision to analyze dozens of thousands of social media videos for clients like Disney+, Netflix, Spotify, and ViacomCBS. He comes from a background in New York City’s film post-production industry, with IMdB credits as a film colorist and dailies technician on Netflix features and episodic productions.

Boscacci is curious about how tech policy can become more proactive, so that communities and organizations can maximize the utility and minimize the harm of the cutting edge. He hopes to encourage readers from all walks of life to join the conversation around tech and policy—so that the folks who normally get steamrolled in the name of progress are more empowered to make their voices heard, and those driving the steamrollers become more aware of themselves.

Boscacci is the caricature of a millennial Brooklyn hipster: Picture him wearing his nearly non-prescription glasses, dismounting his fixie and tapping to pay to slurp a single-origin espresso on his way to the nonprofit repertory cinema. He un-ironically holds a fishing license from the state of New York and uses it to catch Bluegill in the Prospect Park Lake.

You can connect with Boscacci (me) directly at: boscacci.data[at]gmail[dot]com.

Robert Boscacci
Author
Robert Boscacci
Film production guy who learned to code