AI, the new secret weapon in the cloud photo-storage war.

Gigaom posted an article on “The Dropbox computer vision acquisition that slipped under the radar“. But I think it the article should have been called:

AI, the new secret weapon in the cloud photo-storage war.

Okay, this title is probably a hyperbole. But all the big internet companies offer a way to store and share your photos online. And to make their offer more compelling Yahoo, Google, and Dropbox all recently bought computer vision start-ups that will provide image recognition for their user’s uploaded photos. While Yahoo bought LookFlow, Google bought DNNresearch.

Microsoft is researching on image recognition for a long time and I am sure they will soon integrate some of their algorithms into their cloud products. And Facebook just founded an internal AI group.

And to get a look into the future without having to upload all your photographs to the internet, try the iOS app Impala. The app will analyse and categorise all your photographs on your device. It was created by EUVision technologies, a spin off of the University of Amsterdam commercializing their research efforts. 

After the negative conclusion from my last post about the closure of Everpix these are positive news for the machine learning market.

Building Rome in a Day with Photosynth

Remeber Photosynth(video), the Microsoft Research software that turned hundreds of Flickr images of one building into a 3D view? They have, together with researchers from the University of Washington, Cornell, improved the software to a point where they can model the city Rome out of 150,000 photos from Flickr in less than 21h.

More videos and details are available from the project website,

The paper, “Building Rome in a Day” by Sameer Agarwal, Noah Snavely, Ian Simon, Steven M. Seitz, and Richard Szeliski, was presented at the International Conference on Computer Vision (ICCV 2009) on September 30th.

via Improved Photosynth can model a city in hours | Computer Vision Central.