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Thread: Could card grading be automated, or do you need a human element?

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    Senior Member gracecollector's Avatar
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    Could card grading be automated, or do you need a human element?

    Do you think card grading could some day be completely automated? Just put the card in some sort of high-tech scanning device and let lasers and computers do the grading? I think the tech could be easily developed to get accurate centering and corners scores, and with some effort surface and edges.

    Would you trust a grading company more if it used automated measures over human graders? Would you pay more for a card if it came with a report card that showed pictures of deductions/flaws?

    It seems as if collectors will only trust PSA, Beckett and SGC. Do you think a fourth party could gain traction if it set itself apart through automated grading with proven technology?

    The human element has always been grading's biggest turn-off to me. Sub-bumps drive me crazy. Big submitters getting better grades than small time collectors too. I'd be all for a grading company that removed the human element and graded impartially based on advanced scanning technology. But like umpires and automated strike zones, maybe collectors would reject it.

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    This is so weird...I just had this exact conversation with about 3 different guys from across the world in the last week...just need the 3-D scanning tech, a program written to calculate the data and the data for a perfect specimen for the specific set, with different Card thicknesses and such it would be a little tougher for patch Cards etc and depending on how they were signed could present an issue as well I think. But I agree with you totally and I would much rather have hard data vs an opinion


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    I would love it. I don't know how it would go over with the hobby as a whole though.
    I PC Jeff Frye, Ozzie Smith, Jeff Bagwell, and Matt Holiday. Working on 2006-2018 Allen & Ginter sets
    https://jefffryecollection.wordpress.com - My collection website with galleries and want lists

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    Senior Member gracecollector's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ckcsportoutdoor View Post
    This is so weird...I just had this exact conversation with about 3 different guys from across the world in the last week...just need the 3-D scanning tech, a program written to calculate the data and the data for a perfect specimen for the specific set, with different Card thicknesses and such it would be a little tougher for patch Cards etc and depending on how they were signed could present an issue as well I think. But I agree with you totally and I would much rather have hard data vs an opinion
    You bring up good points about how the tech would handle GU swatches and different card thicknesses. I debated in my head if centering would be based on a "perfect" set exemplar, or just its technical centering on the card. That could be tricky. Some borderless cards would present a problem depending where image was placed. I'm sure there would be 100's of issues that would present themselves. But overall, if you could use a laser to determine exact center of card and measure from there, and have some sort of electron microscope scanner for surface and edges, I think it would be more accurate than most grading done now.

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    Member KLARNOLD's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gracecollector View Post
    Do you think card grading could some day be completely automated? Just put the card in some sort of high-tech scanning device and let lasers and computers do the grading? I think the tech could be easily developed to get accurate centering and corners scores, and with some effort surface and edges.

    Would you trust a grading company more if it used automated measures over human graders? Would you pay more for a card if it came with a report card that showed pictures of deductions/flaws?

    It seems as if collectors will only trust PSA, Beckett and SGC. Do you think a fourth party could gain traction if it set itself apart through automated grading with proven technology?

    The human element has always been grading's biggest turn-off to me. Sub-bumps drive me crazy. Big submitters getting better grades than small time collectors too. I'd be all for a grading company that removed the human element and graded impartially based on advanced scanning technology. But like umpires and automated strike zones, maybe collectors would reject it.
    Have you ever heard of CTA grading? They use an 8 zone, 186 point computerized grading system.

    https://ctagradingexperts.com.notdeadsites.com/

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    If technology gets there it will create a whole new realm of ridiculous price increase opportunities. Can you imagine if your PSA 10 has computer measured 50/50 centering as opposed to 47/53.

    Sent from my SM-N950U using Freedom Card Board mobile app

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    So many elements of grading, especially at the detail required for 9.5 vs 10, or 10/10/9.5/9.5 vs quad 10s, or whatever, require examining a card from different angles to catch light. While I suppose it could be done, with current technology it probably would be prohibitively expensive, slow, and unreliable.

    Then there are design elements. The first time the system sees a 1968 Topps, what would it do? Or a die-cut card? God forbid, a Topps Laser?
    Looking for 2011 Topps Marquee Museum autographs, rare Frank Thomases, and any Grady Sizemores I don't have

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    As far as the diecuts and things like that I would venture to bet that if you were into it that deep that you could obtain specs from the Card companies to calibrate your machines with...it would be a programming issue as much as anything Id think... they would have to write your program to where you could adjust for different card stocks and types ie die cuts


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    Quote Originally Posted by ckcsportoutdoor View Post
    As far as the diecuts and things like that I would venture to bet that if you were into it that deep that you could obtain specs from the Card companies to calibrate your machines with...it would be a programming issue as much as anything Id think... they would have to write your program to where you could adjust for different card stocks and types ie die cuts


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    Will always need a human element but a advanced computerized first look would be welcome if it speeds up the process and adds a level of accuracy and error reduction.

    Sent from my SM-G950U using Freedom Card Board mobile app

  11. #11
    Junior Member mattglet's Avatar
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    How would you deal with counterfeits?
    Collecting Jose Canseco -- www.MattsCansecoCollection.com Over 2400 unique cards!

    Collecting Riley Pint - www.RileyPint.com Total owned: 71%, 1/1s: 58

  12. #12
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    Card companies can't even tell you if a card was made or not. I doubt they'll be forthcoming about specs for die-cuts and such.

    There are apps out there for Magic cards that recognize a card and let you inventory your collection that way, and tie it in with major vendors for pricing. It's pretty awesome how well they work in general. There are problems, like scanning cards in sleeves or foil cards, but for regular cards it's a tremendous time saver. They don't do condition yet, but that's a less important factor for pricing than it is with sports. I keep hoping someone does that with sports.
    Looking for 2011 Topps Marquee Museum autographs, rare Frank Thomases, and any Grady Sizemores I don't have

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