An unofficial blog that watches Google's attempts to move your operating system online since 2005. Not affiliated with Google.

Send your tips to

August 14, 2006

Gmail Pictures Used For Face Recognition?

Gmail allows you to add pictures for your contacts. If you upload a picture, Gmail will ask you to crop the picture, to separate the face of the person. So Gmail has a database of multiple images for a lot of persons.

This seems like a nice feature, but I think it's more than that. It's a very easy way to obtain a database of faces useful for face recognition. Algorithms for detecting and recognizing faces are good, but not good enough, and this is a great way for Google to improve their AI algorithms using the data obtained from its users.

Google was very close to acquire Riya, a face recognition service that has expanded into a visual search engine for people and objects. They didn't bought the company because they want to develop an in-house solution. This might be integrated into Picasa to automatically detect persons in your photos and organize them better (like MyHeritage does) and might be the foundation of a new kind of image search engine, that understands more from the pictures.

This blog is not affiliated with Google.