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[D] Societal problems/topics that can be reasonably tackled during a Computer Vision/ML PhD while generating interesting research from a theory standpoint.

Long-time reader, but first-time poster: If this post should go into r/cscareerquestions, or be deleted, just let me know.

I have the opportunity to start a PhD in Computer Vision/ML with a potential focus on SLAM. I am looking for topics related to society that can guide and especially motivate the research. A counterexample would be face-recognition which is technically fascinating, but IMHO has significant negative potential from a political perspective. A possible example would be “helping the blind” where computer vision should generally be beneficial; however, I currently assume that most challenges in this area are more user-interface- and product-design-related.

I am asking this question here, and not at say r/AskReddit, because I was hoping to get more understanding for striking a balance between a topic that is relevant from a research perspective and relevant to society. I do also understand that this might be a topic to discuss with my supervisor, and I will; nevertheless, I am very interested in your opinions 🙂

Thank you all in advance for your answers, and in retrospect for the great content on this sub!

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Toronto AI is a social and collaborative hub to unite AI innovators of Toronto and surrounding areas. We explore AI technologies in digital art and music, healthcare, marketing, fintech, vr, robotics and more. Toronto AI was founded by Dave MacDonald and Patrick O'Mara.