The identity of Machine Vision as an academic and practical subject of study is asserted. In particular, the distinction between Machine Vision on the one hand and Computer Vision, Digital Image Processing, Pattern Recognition and Artificial Intelligence on the other is emphasized. The article demonstrates through four cases studies that the active involvement of a person who is sensitive to the broad aspects of vision system design can avoid disaster and can often achieve a successful machine that would not otherwise have been possible. This article is a transcript of the key- note address presented at the conference. Since the proceedings are prepared and printed before the conference, it is not possible to include a record of the response to this paper made by the delegates during the round-table discussion. It is hoped to collate and disseminate these via the World Wide Web after the event. (A link will be provided at http://bruce.cs.cf.ac.uk/bruce/index.html.).