Wolfram’s new web app can identify almost any image you feed it

BY Killian Bell

Published 14 May 2015

Wolfram Image Identify

Stephen Wolfram, creator of Wolfram Alpha, has announced an intelligent new web app that can identify almost any image you provide it with using artificial intelligence. It’s called ImageIdentify, and it could be the start of a “powerful building block for knowledge-based programming.”

ImageIdentify is like a more sophisticated version of Google Goggles or Amazon Firefly; you simply feed it a photo and in just a few seconds, it will tell you what it thinks it is (without trying to sell you something). “It won’t always get it right, but most of the time I think it does remarkably well,” Wolfram writes.

Not only is ImageIdentify an excellent, practical example of how we can use artificial intelligence, but it could also be the start of something much bigger. In addition to just identifying an image, the service can also provide you with a wealth of information alongside it.

For instance, if you upload a picture of a cat or a dog, ImageIdentify can provide information on its species, scientific name, an average weight, maximum age, and more.

ImageIdentify can also be integrated into a Wolfram Language program that could give statistics on things like cars, planes, animals, and devices. These services could then be turned into apps for smartphones and tablets, or integrated into websites.

Right now, ImageIdentify can recognize about 10,000 common objects, however, it can’t identify specific people or things than are not “real everyday objects.” If you upload a picture of Chewbacca, for example, ImageIdentify thinks it’s a picture of a hunting dog.

But it’s certainly a great start, and the more the service is used to identify a wide array of images, the more reliable it will get over time. But there’s something you will want to be aware of before you go and try it out for youself.

ImageIdentify currently saves a thumbnail of every image you upload, partly so that you can share it with other people, and party to improve the system — as I mentioned above. Be careful about what you upload, then, and don’t use images you wouldn’t want Wolfram to keep a copy of.

[via The Verge]