CVPR 2019 Workshop

June 16th 2019, Long Beach, CA.

The first Workshop on Computer Vision for Global Challenges will be held in conjunction with the IEEE Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition (CVPR), in Long Beach, California on June 16th 2019. It will be a full-day event and will feature invited speakers, poster and spotlight presentations, a panel discussion and a mentoring/networking dinner.


Computer vision technology, a sub-class of Artificial Intelligence technologies, has recently made rapid progress in several subareas (e.g., object segmentation, video classification), achieving a level of performance that was unexpected just a few years ago. This technology has opened possibilities in many real world domains including transportation (self-driving cars, drones), entertainment (shopping, phones), safety (security systems), which are used on a daily basis to make our lives more efficient and safer. While these applications give meaning and value to our technology, their focus and presence in certain geographical regions or markets injects biases in the datasets, tasks, and ultimately direction of the advancement of the field.

However, increased global expansion of Internet and mobile devices (network connected computing devices) offers a unique opportunity for the computer vision community to both expand target markets and geographically diverse applications and input and training biases.

Thus, widening the scope of computer vision applications to address global problems could lead to a win for both the computer vision community and the organizations and individuals working to address global challenges: vision could positively impact the lives of 6 billion people in the Global South by developing applications for remote extension services for farming communities, digital health care delivery, or disaster readiness and mapping of informal settlements for example - and these populations could help reveal some of the blind spots and biases in the current computer vision datasets, tasks, and practices.

Why has this opportunity not been seized before? We argue that one of the main obstacles is the disconnection between domain experts: those who are close to the problems on the ground, and those who have knowledge about technical solutions. This disconnect might be driven by geographical divide, differences in language and taxonomy, or might come from the lack of a accessible forum to find each other. We propose this initiative as a first step to bridge the gap between these two communities. In particular our goals are:

  • To find intellectually interesting challenges that broaden the scope of computer vision problems through new data and tasks related to development priorities like the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
  • To identify computer vision techniques that can help solve problems with large positive societal impact in the Global South
  • To give individuals, universities and organizations the ability to contribute to the previous two goals, through collaborations, mentorship, networking, research grants, etc.


Workshop Program coming soon!

Confirmed speakers and panelists:

  • Nyalleng Moorosi (Deep Learning Indaba & Google AI Ghana)
  • Padmanabhan Anandan (Wadhwani AI)
  • Marshall Bourke (Stanford)
  • Jitendra Malik (UC Berkeley & Facebook AI)
  • Ernest Mweabze (Google AI Ghana & Makerere University)
  • more coming soon!!

Where are you?

  • Idea stage: If you have a novel idea for a computer vision challenge that would have global impact, and you are looking for a partner, resources, or feedback, check the call for challenges. If your proposal is accepted, you will be eligible for a full travel grant.
  • Promising results: If you have novel work that you’d like to showcase to the vision community, the traditional call for papers is for you.
  • Solid research plan: If you have existing results, and a plan for your next steps to achieve global impact, apply at our call for research proposals to be considered for the research awards.

How can you help?

We want to thank all 90+ people that have already signed up to volunteer! This overwhelming response fills us with hope and determination to try our best to have the best workshop possible! We hope to see you all there on Sunday June 16th!

If you don’t have a concrete idea or results, but you’d like to get involved, here are some amazing volunteer opportunities:

  • Become a Computer Vision Ambassador: Taking a global perspective on computer vision, also means widening participation. If you’d like to volunteer to be a Computer Vision Ambassador and help a newcomer make the most of CVPR, check our call for Computer Vision ambassadors and fill out the volunteer form.
  • Become a Reviewer: If you’d like to contribute your time by helping review and give feedback, please sign up as a paper reviewer by filling out the volunteer form.
  • Become a Publicity Ambassador and help us publicize our effort all over the world: If you are a student, researcher, professor or involved in international development, and are based in, or have connections to the research community of a developing region, you can be a Publicity Ambassador! Declare your interest by filling out the volunteer form, and we will make sure you are aware of all our promotional materials (emails, posts, tweets). Then all you have to do is spread the word, share, text or retweet!
  • Become a sponsor: Are you a company or non-profit that wants to be a sponsor of the workshop? Email the lead organizers and let us know.
You help will be greatly appreciated! All volunteers will be welcome to join our workshop dinner (and get the coolest CVPR 2019 swag).

Call for Challenges

Do you have an idea for a computer vision task that would impact the lives of many? Have you identified the limitations of a vision technique because of the geographical bias of the data you are using it on? Is there an application of computer vision that would be helpful to your community? Are you looking for potential vision expert partners or feedback on your idea? Apply for the Call of Challenges, and come and experience the premier computer vision conference, and participate in an active discussion with the top vision researchers. Selected proposals will be presented as spotlight and/or posters during the workshop.

Recipients of accepted proposals may receive full travel grants (transportation, accommodation, registration and meals) to attend the CVPR conference, tutorials and workshops. The review process is single-blind and immigration letters will be provided.
Researchers or practitioners based in developing regions are strongly encouraged to apply.

Travel grants and US Visa: Keeping in mind how time-consuming the Visa processes can be, we expect to announce decisions for applicants that do not have a US Visa around mid-April. This will hopefully allow enough time for the visa process to finish on time.

Submission Instructions

For a valid submission, authors must complete and submit this on-line form.

The submission deadline for the Call for Challenges has now passed (was March 25th, 2019). We received 105 applications in total, and accepted 17 (16% acceptance rate!) applications from 15 countries!. The list of accepted applications will be out soon.

Call for papers

We invite researchers to submit their recent work on Computer Vision applications, tasks and challenges inspired by and applied to developing regions, including:
  • Applications of CV to development issues including health, education, institutional integrity, violence mitigation, economics, societal analysis, and environment.
  • Novel CV techniques inspired by limitations in development challenges.
  • Novel CV tasks and datasets that can potentially have large social impact in developing regions.
  • Limitations and risks of Computer Vision systems and applications for developing regions.
Paper presenters will be eligible for full (and partial) travel grants as well as oral presentations.
Researchers based in developing regions are strongly encouraged to submit.

Please note that, while there’s a wider range of work under the social good umbrella, we are particularly interested in works applied to and challenges coming from developing regions.

Submission Instructions

Papers should be submitted using the CVPR 2019 Latex/Word Templates and follow the CVPR formatting instructions. The review process is double-blind. The length must not exceed 6 pages (excluding references).

Submissions will be handled via CMT:

The Camera Ready deadline is May 8th (midnight PST), 2019.

Call for Research Proposals

In partnership with the CV4GC workshop, Facebook AI is calling for research proposals that extend computer vision technologies to achieve global development priorities, especially those captured in the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Find more information about the call and apply through the Facebook AI website.

The deadline to apply has now passed.

Call for Computer Vision Ambassadors

Taking a global perspective on computer vision, also means widening participation. We will bring people who come to CVPR for the first time, which can be overwhelming (you probably still remember your first CVPR). We want these people to make the most of it, be prepared to showcase their material etc. We are therefore accepting volunteers from the CV community, that would act as "vision ambassadors" for each newcomer that needs help.

If accepted, you will be the mentor of a CVPR newcomer, and you are expected to connect with them before the conference, answer questions via email or video conferencing, assist them with their presentation and poster printing in needed. During the conference, you will help the newcomer orient, socialize and connect to the right people. We require that you have attended at least 2 top-tier Computer Vision conferences (CVPR/ICCV/ECCV) during the last couple of years to qualify.

If you are interested in being a computer vision ambassador please fill out the volunteer form.

Important Dates

Workshop Organizers

Lead Organizers
  • Laura Sevilla-Lara (University of Edinburgh & Facebook AI). Primary contact, email: [laura.sevilla.lara][at][]
  • Yannis Kalantidis (Facebook AI). Primary contact, email: [yannisk][at][]
International Development and Program Leads
  • Anna Lerner (Facebook)
  • Maria De-Arteaga (Carnegie Mellon University)
  • Amir Zamir (UC Berkeley & Stanford University)
Diversity Lead
  • Timnit Gebru (Google AI)
Computer Vision Ambassador program lead
  • Kris Sankaran (MILA)
Publicity Ambassador coordination
  • Mutembesa Daniel (Kampala University, Uganda)
Sponsorship and travel LEads
  • Drew Westbury (Facebook)
  • Peter Eckersley (Partnership on AI)
  • Julia Rhodes Davis (Partnership on AI)
Technical Program Chairs
  • Ernest Mwebaze (Google AI Ghana)
  • Mourad Gridach (Ibn Zohr University, Agadir, Morocco)
  • Stefano Ermon (Stanford University)
  • Lorenzo Torresani (Facebook AI)
Advisory Committee
  • Rebekkah Hogan (Facebook Academic Relations)
  • John Quinn (Makerere University & Google AI Ghana)
  • Padmanabhan Anandan (Wadhwani AI, India)
  • Stefano Ermon (Stanford University)
  • Larry Zitnick (University of Washington & Facebook Research)
  • Jitendra Malik (UC Berkeley & Facebook Research)