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Wolfram Launches Image Identification Project Share This on LinkedIn   Share This on Google   Tweet This   Forward This

14 May 2015

In a recent blog post, Stephen Wolfram announced Wolfram Language's Image Identification Project "to let anyone easily take any picture (drag it from a Web page, snap it on your phone, or load it from a file) and see what ImageIdentify thinks it is."


Which begs the question, "How good is it?" Wolfram answers:

It won't always get it right, but most of the time I think it does remarkably well. And to me what's particularly fascinating is that when it does get something wrong, the mistakes it makes mostly seem remarkably human.

It's a nice practical example of artificial intelligence. But to me what's more important is that we've reached the point where we can integrate this kind of "AI operation" right into the Wolfram Language -- to use as a new, powerful building block for knowledge-based programming.

To that end a ImageIdentify function has been added to the Wolfram language, Wolfram announced, so you could "write a Wolfram Language program that, for example, gave statistics on the different kinds of animals, or planes, or devices, or whatever, that appear in the photographs."


We dragged our old favorite image to the target on the Image Identification Project page and watched the progress indicator, a red line at the top of the page, take a few seconds to take a stab at it. "Implement," it guessed. Which was not specific enough for us to applaud.

We tried the split-toned image, too. That came back (in about the same few seconds) as "person." Well, true as far it goes, but it didn't go far enough. There are two people in that shot.

When we tried to improve it, though, it offered "hominid, primate, placental mammal" as options. We obviously don't speak the same language.

(Coincidentally, Harold Davis has been having his own problems with Flickr's new automatic tagging. -- Editor)

Nevetheless it's fun. And counts as our cultural contribution for the day, too.

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