It’s increasingly apparent that artificial intelligence’s inevitable ascension as the dominant species on our planet (and beyond) will not come as some have predicted in an instant, but a slow, invisible growth. The latest advancement in AI comes in the subdued revelation by Facebook that it now has an algorithm that can tell us all apart from the back of our heads. The announcement of DEEPFACE came and went mostly unnoticed.
The final algorithm was revealed and demonstrated by Facebook last week at the Boston CVPR 2015 conference. It’s been reported that Yann LeCun, head of Facebook’s artificial intelligence division says it worked with an 83% success rate after reviewing 60,000 public photographs of 2000 people from Flickr and running them through a sophisticated neural network. This figure rises significantly if a frontal face is recognised to 93.4%, making it possibly as accurate as a human brain.
The algorithm works quite simply by recognising silhouettes, clothes, hair colour and other distinguishable features that a person may be identified by and comparing them with other photographs. LeCun states that it easily recognises Mark Zuckerberg because he’s always wearing the same grey T shirt.
Thankfully, Yann LeCun recognises the romp to stardom AI is currently having and warns we must keep a watchful eye:
There is little doubt that future progress in computer vision will require breakthroughs in unsupervised learning, particularly for video understanding, But what principles should unsupervised learning be based on?
I for one would prefer not to be recognised by my behind, however if this is the future our society holds it’ll spur me on to dress better and certainly lose a few pounds to confuse those pesky Facebook neural networks.
Did you know that adding filters to your photos can result in more views and comments? Well the clever bods at Yahoo Labs have just released a very interesting study on ‘Why We Filter Our Photos and How It Impacts Engagement’ and having crunched a whole lot of numbers they found that “filtered photos are 21% more likely to be viewed and 45% more likely to be commented on by consumers of photographs.”
“We analyzed how filters affect a photo’s engagement (consumers’ perspective) using a corpus of 7.6 million Flickr photos. We find two groups of serious and casual photographers among filter users. The serious see filters as correction tools and prefer milder effects. Casual photographers, by contrast, use filters to significantly transform their photos with bolder effects. We also find that filtered photos are 21% more likely to be viewed and 45% more likely to be commented on by consumers of photographs.”
Wow! When the sheer volume of smartphone images shared online is so massive (apparently Instagram averages 60 million images uploaded a day, and the iPhone is Flickr‘s most popular camera), will a little filtering really help you get noticed amongst all those pictures?
There are other elements to take into account of course. The number of followers you have and having an image with a lot of views already automatically puts you high up in the social networking charts and makes sure even more people see your images. Plus, a high level of social interactivity online will also result in more views and more comments on your own work but still, that’s quite some quantitative analysis they’ve done there!
The study found two distinct groups amongst the filter-using photographers on Flickr – the serious hobbyist and the casual photographer – and according to their study the serious photographer uses a more delicate touch, preferring to use correction tools and less obvious filters while the casual photographers like a big, bold, image changing effect on their pictures. Continue reading →