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Facial Recognition for Pets

Have you ever struggled to tell the difference between one Labrador and another? If you met two pugs in the park would you know which one was which? You might recognise your own pet but the nuances of other peoples’ can be difficult to get to grips with. However, technology marches on and whilst you could be confused by similar pooches in the park, facial recognition software can now distinguish between pets.

Google Photo

Google’s photo storing app, Google Photos, can now automatically recognise pets by their faces. The new capability was announced in a blog post by the company this week. The feature works on both cats and dogs and will distinguish between individual animals, not just between breeds. Google photos is renowned for its use of artificial intelligence (AI) and has identified functionality which is sure to appeal to many users.

Paw-some-ness from Google

You will now be able to search your photos for your pet using its name. Once the correct images have been selected by Google, you are able to create digital albums, photo books and even videos featuring your furry friend. A google spokesman has described the new AI capability as "Paw-some-ness"!

If you have more than one pet which is similar in appearance, Google’s AI might need a little help to differentiate between them. All you need to do is identify each individual via the app and then the system should be able to distinguish each animal moving forward. Spooky!

Google Photos has been increasingly using AI to help its 500 million-plus users organize their snaps. The functionality includes auto-rotating tools and self-curating features. The app’s Assistant section automatically stitches together photos as panoramas, offers stylized versions of photos you've snapped, and suggests images for archiving.

Users tend to take massive amounts of pictures of their pets, so facial recognition for fur-legged friends was a logical move.

What’s in it for Google?

One wonders what will be next. If only Google could invent technology which would induce pets to stay still while we are trying to take pictures of them. Now that really would be useful! You may ask what benefit there is to Google in developing pet-friendly apps. Well, in addition to helping the organisation to sell more photobooks, the technology simply locks more users into Google apps. It keeps people and their pets in the Google family. Then there the inevitable publicity when a new feature is announced and that doesn’t hurt!



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