Big Idea: A New Way To See The World

After stints running Google Books and heading up the team tasked with giving Mars rovers autonomy, James Crawford launched Orbital Insight—a startup that applies artificial intelligence and data analysis to satellite imagery. In Crawford’s own words: Most people know that humans can’t see really small things. That’s why we invented the microscope. On the flip side, humans also struggle to see really big things. If you want to view the whole Earth, for example, you have to look from space and you lose a lot of detail. Every pixel your eye sees is 10,000 square miles. Using artificial intelligence and cloud computing, we can simultaneously see the whole Earth and see the detail. We can look at trillions of features within millions of satellite images all at once. We call…

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