Wolfram, the company behind the iPhone’s Wolfram Alpha “answer engine,” has just launched a new website called the Image Identification Project. It’s an image-based search engine designed to analyze pictures and answer the simple question: “What’s this a picture of?”
The site, which works on PCs, tablets and smartphones, features a prominently-located upload button. You either click or tap the button to upload a picture or to grant access to your camera to take one. It then uses data from its past guesses to return an analysis of what that item is. The site also provides more information about the subject if it can – when we uploaded a picture of a dog in a hat, the Image Identification Project suggested it was a Shih Tzu and provided detailed facts about the specific breed.
“It won’t always get it right, but most of the time I think it does remarkably well,” says Steven Wolfram, the CEO of Wolfram Research. “And to me what’s particularly fascinating is that when it does get something wrong, the mistakes it makes mostly seem remarkably human.” Wolfram then showed off some of these fun mistakes amongst the tens of millions of images analyzed during development.
The Image Identification Project website is a basic demonstration of “ImageIdentify,” an artificial intelligence function now built into the popular Wolfram Language. In one of its most practical applications, the command could soon be built into your smartphone or computer to enable searches for specific images based on their description.
You can give the Image Identification Project website a try by visiting imageidentity.com. If you do visit, keep an eye out for the feedback buttons beneath your results. The technology is designed to learn as it’s used, so your corrections will only improve its performance in the future.
[Dog in hat pic via Shutterstock]