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Product Updates [May 2023]

June 2, 2023
7 mins
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Computer vision and AI march ever-forward, and ever-faster — we’re there to give you the tools you need annotate, understand, and deploy quality models — just in time for summer 😎. Take a look to learn how re-interpolation helps you work faster, comments can enhance your teams collaboration, bitmask support levels up difficult segmentation support and many other enhancements to your annotation workflow!

Successive interpolations improve label accuracy

The interpolation feature now supports the ability to override previous labels generated via interpolation. This enhances support for powerful bulk labeling workflows. Apply interpolation across a large range of frames, step through and re-adjust at key frames, and run re-interpolation as many times as necessary to re-adjust the intervening labels, secure in the knowledge your trusted manual labels won’t be overwritten! Check out the documentation for the details, and see below for sample of re-interpolation in action.

That’s what I’m talking about

Encord’s label review system already enables precise communication targeting specific label instances, and even when labels are missing in a frame. To bring this a step further, we’re adding a general comment system to the label editor to enable full communication across your team, from annotators to reviewers, and every which way. Make comments on specific annotation tasks, specific frames, and even localize your frames in the editor to areas of interest! Better labeling through communication, now in Encord.

Workflow Templates

Workflows are now in open beta, our documentation shows you how to get started. We’re also rolling out support for workflow templates. You can configure flows you use regularly, optionally add any team members to particular roles and webhooks, and then quickly re-use them when creating projects. Also use workflow templates to easily create projects from the SDK — making it easier than ever to integrate scalable annotation and active learning processes into your own applications! We’d love to hear how workflow templates can help you accelerate and scale your annotation efforts — get in touch!

What you need, when you need it

Finding the correct dataset, project, or ontology you as your organisation grows can be challenging. We’re happy to be introducing a global search feature which allows you to search across all your projects, datasets, and ontologies, no matter where you are in the platform at any given time. Depending on your search, you can jump straight to desired result, or jump to the relevant list page with a pre-filtered result list to find exactly what you need. Our search infrastructure is starting here, but we’re planning to expand this capacity to organisation collaborators, individual data units, and other platform entities going forward to create a simple, central navigation interface. Let us know what you need to find so we can help you find it!

Try looking at it from a new angle

Depending on where data comes from — it may arrive in orientations that are hard for you and your team to understand. We hear you. We’ve added the ability to rotate your data in the label editor, so you can see your data as it was meant to be seen — or however helps you annotate best. You can use the slider or text entry form to control free rotation. Or, use the clockwise rotate button to advance in 90 degree intervals — whatever works best for you. Annotations are stored oriented to the media’s original orientation so downstream pipelines can rest assured annotations made while rotated are correctly aligned with the original media. Rotation is supported for all media types including images, image groups, and videos.

Bitmask annotation is here

Encord has long supported segmentation annotations via our lightweight polygon representation. However, sometimes we want to annotate multiple disjoint areas or enclose an unannotated space. In such cases, masks are the best options. You can now take advantage of bitmasks in Encord in every supported modality — including DICOM. Create new mask annotations with our brush tool, taking advantage of advanced features such as erasing, or thresholding on a grayscale representation of the image. Additionally, use our SDK or upload and download bitmask segmentations from the platform. More advanced capabilities to control annotations by hue and saturation are also in the pipeline — let us know if these will assist with your annotation workloads!

Get Active this summer

Encord Active enables key active learning flows allowing you to search, sort, and select your data, labels and predictions by relevant metrics to quickly find the most troublesome and underperforming sections. However, ensuring you’re teaching your model what you think you are can be another troublesome task. Therefore, Active has added a new Data Drift feature to help you effortlessly compare how two datasets differ across your set of relevant metrics — to ensure you understand relevant metric differences between datasets before assigning them to labeling or training! For premium users, Active has also integrated ChatGPT to help turn your natural language queries and statements into code and metrics compatible with the Active system. Join us to enquire how to become a premium Active user!

SAM at your speed

Encord was the first collaborative annotation tool to bring the power of SAM to your annotation workflow. However, we feel that delivering a next generation platform requires constant improvement. We’ve heard from various customers that they want SAM segmentations faster — particularly with large files. In order to give users greater control over segmentation speed and quality we’ve introduced a feature which allows you to tune the speed and quality trade-off to your media and precision needs. For high resolution media and clear segmentation boundaries — tune up the speed for snappy segmentation performance. For nuanced segmentation workloads, tune to quality to ensure your segmentations are pixel perfect. Click the magic wand for the category you want to segment, tune for your desired performance and then point and click as always — voila! To catch up on SAM, read our explainer, here. Let us know how SAM can be further moulded to accelerate your labeling workflow!

The DICOM Special

In addition to general editor improvements, a number of DICOM specific enhancements have landed as well. You can now deep link to specific DICOM slices, and the bitmask brush tool can perform windows threshold on DICOM’s native Hounsfield units as well — delivering all the benefits of a collaborative annotation platform with the power of native DICOM tools you would expect. Read up on all the details in our DICOM update blog entry, here.

Around the world and around the web

Encord’s digital presence was in full gear this May! Always quick on the draw, we’re ensuring you understand the latest advancements in ML such as Meta’s MTIA, and the revolutionary ImageBind which helps tie vision learning to other sensory data. Or as Meta put it in their homage to J.R.R. Tolkien — “One Embedding Space to Bind Them All”, truly highlighting the central importance of vision data in multi-modal models and learning — exciting!

We’re looking forward to moving through the real world as well! CVPR 2023 starts mid June in Vancouver Canada — and we can’t wait to show off all our hard work over the last year, and learning about all the cutting edge advancements pushing the field of computer vision forward. Drop us a line if you’re planning to attend, we’d love to see you there 😉!

We hope you’re enjoying the weather as we head into longer, and (finally!) warmer days of summer — and as always, that all your initiatives are moving forward as fast as can be. Don’t hesitate to reach out with feedback, ideas, or whatever else strikes your fancy.

Encord data engine

The Unified AI Data Development Platform

Consolidates & automate your data curation, annotation, and validation workflows to power your AI models with the right data.

Written by

Justin Sharps

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