Microsoft’s research eggheads have come up with some pretty nifty products to demonstrate the power of object recognition, a key facet of artificial intelligence (AI). One tells your age and another pegs your state of mind from digital photos.
But now they may have hit the mother lode in a new app that identifies dog breeds from photos and, claims to tell you, based on your image, what which canine breed you resemble.
The Fetch iPhone app recognizes and classifies dogs by breed. And, if you are in the market for a hound, you can research breeds by disposition, coat type, size, and say, which dogs are hypoallergenic.
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Or, it can, for example, tell what breed the various presidential candidates resemble. You can also use the new What-dog.net site to do the same thing.
Different photos of the same subject often yield different results, according to the Microsoft blog post explaining the project:
You could resemble a Doberman Pinscher in one photo (sunglasses, no makeup) or a Pekingese (no glasses, makeup) in another. If you photograph an inanimate object, it might tell you, “No dogs found!” and make an informed guess at what it is.
Microsoft (MSFT), with Project Oxford and Google (GOOG), with TensorFlow, as well as other tech giants, are racing to build their AI arsenals and to get tools out to the public so that potential customers can find innovative uses for them.
For more on AI check out this video.
The issue is that AI has been a promising set of technologies for decades but the market never arrived. Now with advances in cloud computing that bring nearly unlimited computing resources to bear and sophisticated big data analytics techniques to make use of those resources, it’s a good bet AI’s time has finally come.
Anyway, the timing of Fetch is smart, coming right before the big Westminster Dog Show in New York.