“With EMMA we see a great opportunity to make a real difference to a lot of people.” Dr Vasileios Mezaris, Senior Researcher at the Centre for Research and Technology Hellas (CERTH)

Hello from EMMA! On a regular basis we publish interviews with the members of EMMA´s international project team to introduce the creative minds behind the project. Today’s interview is with Dr Vasileios Mezaris from the Centre for Research and Technology Hellas (CERTH). 

Please tell me something about yourself and your professional background.

Vasileios Mezaris: I have earned a BSc and a PhD in Electrical and Computer Engineering, and since 2007 I am a senior sesearcher at the Information Technologies Institute of the Centre for Research and Technology Hellas (CERTH), which is a large research centre headquartered in Thessaloniki, Greece. There, I lead a group of researchers working on multimedia analysis and machine learning.

Please explain briefly the work of CERTH, and the area of research you are specialised in.  

Vasileios Mezaris: The Information Technologies Institute of CERTH covers a wide range of research topics. My research group’s  interests and expertise include image and video analysis, machine learning for multimedia analysis and big data analytics, event detection in multimedia, content-based and semantic image and video retrieval, and applications of image/video analysis and machine learning in specific domains (such as TV broadcasting and news, educational and cultural applications). Within the EMMA project, we develop and provide technologies that enable the automatic extraction of information and the efficient organisation of image and video content. That is, technologies for image and video annotation with rich sets of labels – essentially, understanding what the image or video depicts –, visual and aesthetic quality assessment (estimating how good and visually pleasing each media item is), clustering and summarisation of image/video collections, and others. In order to make these things really work, a lot of research is needed on broader subjects such as machine learning or, to use a more exciting term, artificial intelligence.  

Which possibilities does the tool EMMA provide for CERTH?

Vasileios Mezaris: With the integrated EMMA tool we see a great opportunity to have our latest research results applied in practice – not just inside a research lab– and make a real difference to a lot of people. The image and video annotation research area has witnessed a lot of advances in the last few years, and we are now at the point where – although there is still lots of exciting research to be done and huge potential for further advances – we can have results that are already good enough to be used in the real world, to help in solving some real problems. And we are very excited to be part of a multi-national team in Europe – the EMMA consortium – that aims to do just that! 

Thank you for your time, Vasileios!

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