I’ve noticed recently that Facebook has been applying an automatic image recognition/tagging process to any pictures that are uploaded to their system. The general idea is to get a computer to “understand” what’s in a picture.
In Facebook’s case, images are given a textual description automatically which is used to provide meta-data that can be accessed by screen-readers (used by the visually impaired when using computers). This isn’t about facial recognition (though Facebook is doing that as well).
For example, I came across this picture from a friend of mine:
Which Facebook’s artificial intelligence system automatically tagged with this information:
Image may contain: sky, twilight, outdoor and nature
Automatic image tagging/recognition has been a popular field of research, but this is the first time I’ve seen it actually used in a production system for something useful.
It’s pretty good too. Here’s one of interest to the Dickerson family at large:
Which Facebook automatically describes as:
Image may contain: 8 people, people smiling, people standing and indoor
I just found that interesting. That’s all.