The Cat Within – Google Image Recognition

Google can see cats

The unofficial star of the Internet is the cat. As a running joke concerning the ease by which time can be wasted online, cat videos and the grumpy cat are recurring stars. Google has now reinjected legitimacy into this cultural meme by using visuals of cats as a flagship for its new image recognition technology which uses artificial-intelligence software to interpret what is going on in a photograph, and then produce a descriptive caption.

Although such an activity seems relatively easy for a human, the ability to separate out the shapes and colors in a picture and place them into context requires an enormous amount of processing power, not only to determine what the objects represent in a picture, but the circumstances surrounding why they are there at all.

The Cat Connection

The cat connection comes from one of the more recent Google projects, in which, in 2012, a joint Google/Stanford team showed millions of images from YouTube videos to a computer that then taught itself how to recognize cats in the images.

According to Google’s own blog, the model for image recognition comes from adapting language processing applications, such as those that would convert a French phrase into a vector representation, which could then be translated into German. Vector recognition is described in a separate Google blog as follows: “[The computer] understands that Paris and France are related the same way Berlin and Germany are (capital and country), and not the same way Madrid and Italy are. [From this] it can learn the concept of capital cities, just by reading lots of news articles — with no human supervision.” The adaptation of vector representation is then blended with image processing software to essentially determine what is a cat and also what is not a cat.

Google concedes that the process is as yet far from perfect. Many of the photographs are misinterpreted, from mildly to wildly as the computers struggle to connect what they see with what actually occurs in the human world.

However as the image of their November 17 2014 post shows, “Two pizzas sitting on top of a stove top oven” is a fair assessment of what is going on in this image.

The potential for image recognition of this sort is limitless. Some immediate uses range from describing images to the visually impaired to faster and more accurate placement on Google Maps by reading house numbers.

By Steve Prentice

Christian Buckley

The Evolution of SharePoint Customization

When I started working with SharePoint back in 2005, deploying WSS 2.0 followed and then SharePoint Portal Server 2003 for a large client, the concept of "customization" as we define it today was not really ...
Fahim Kahn

The 5 Biggest Hybrid Cloud Management Challenges—And How to Overcome Them

Hybrid Cloud Management Challenges The benefits of the cloud—reduced costs, greater IT flexibility, and more—are well-established. But now many organizations are moving to hybrid cloud management platforms. While hybrid clouds do offer a greater level ...
Sebastian Grady

ERP Software License versus Cloud ERP SaaS Subscription ─ Pros and Cons 

Software License versus SaaS Subscription Your software is an asset. Software vendors such as Oracle and SAP are pressing customers to replace existing enterprise applications in order to move to the vendor’s new platform. Yet, ...
Atman Rathod

UX Design in the Age of DevOps: Transformation Through Collaboration

UX Design in the Age of DevOps DevOps is popular among modern IT strategists because it leaves no scope for lapses in the development process. It incorporates a holistic approach to software development by bringing ...
Or Lenchner

Destination IPPN: why the travel sector must harness a global IP proxy network

Destination IPPN While massive growth in the travel sector has been predicted, the digital environment has also massively upped competition amongst service providers, keen to offer travellers the best personalized online booking and buying experience ...
Peter Tsai

Infrastructure-as-a-Service Security Responsibilities

Infrastructure-as-a-Service Updated: 11.19.2020 What is IaaS? Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) allows you to rent computing resources from a third party that you then access through the web. You essentially outsource having to set up ...