Category Archives: Websites

The Complex and Rewarding World of Image Recognition

Look around you and try to put a name to the things you see. Chairs, tables, floors, cups, plates, they’re all easy to recognize. You can probably even recognize the brands of many of those items when you see them. It’s a fairly easy task for people. But it’s a shockingly difficult task for computers. Many people aren’t aware of how many decades of serious research have gone into the seemingly simple task of computers being able to recognize a chair when they see it. This process, known as image recognition, has been one of the most complex problems within the field of artificial intelligence.

The past few years have seen some amazing advances though. What used to be a distant dream is now a reality. The right software, created by the right people, can finally recognize and define the objects within a picture. Of course that’s impressive on a technical level. But people might wonder what that means on a practical one. What can image recognition actually do? By itself it really is just an academic accomplishment. But some companies are working on ways to integrate this new technology with existing platforms. One of the most powerful comes about through the use of mobile phones and image recognition.

There’s been two noteworthy changes in smartphones which have made this possible. The first is that the quality of cameras has gone up tremendously. The cameras in smartphones were often more of an afterthought. Today the cameras in smartphones rival professional quality equipment. This ensures that the image recognition software has high quality images to work with. The other improvement happened with networks. The software on the phone isn’t even close to powerful enough to run high end image recognition software. So the image needs to be offloaded onto higher powered equipment. Higher quality data connections make this trivial to accomplish. It just takes a few seconds to snap a high quality picture and send it off to a more powerful remote server for processing. Of course that requires a company to do the processing.

The current industry leader in image recognition in phones is Slyce. They make it easy to work image recognition into an app. For example, one of their services involves product recognition. They can enhance or even build apps which will notice a particular item, search internal databases, and lead potential customers to a location where it can be purchased. But their “snap to buy” service is only the beginning of what they can do. They have specially tailored services to match almost any image recognition need.

Mother and Daughter Start Online Dating Site for People with Autism

Olivia Cantu is 18-years-old and autistic. She has plenty of friends but is tired of being misunderstood by them because they are non-autistic. Many established dating sites online did not cater to those with autism either, still making it hard for someone with autism to meet new people. In order to make it easier for those with autism to meet new people Olivia, along with her mother Kristen who also has a form of autism, decided to start their own dating site where people with autism can meet one another.

According to the story on BuzzFeed.com, the two partnered up to create the site Spectrum Singles. On this site users will be given a questionnaire that determines where they place on the autism spectrum. They will be given a color based on it and shown the profiles of those who were paired with the same color. Jaime Garcia Dias has learned that, through this site, those will autism will be able to potentially meet with each other to form friendships or relationships.

Spectrum Singles have also set up a YouTube page to help users understand social cues while out with others. The videos are comical in nature and let the viewer know how to respond to something their date does. The mother and daughter team also have a Facebook community page set up to share news, memes, and articles pertaining to autism.