Thursday, May 28, 2015

Google Photos - Machine Learning that is Insanely Good!

Google just released the new version of Google Photos for desktop, Android and iOS and after using it for just a few minutes I am completely blown away.

While it is many great features, the "search for photographs" is what took my breath away.  I started off searching for "Wedding", "Beach" etc and then moved on to specific landmarks like "Taj Mahal" and "Chichentiza" and it performed remarkably well.

Then I tried "cricket" and the results were stunning.
Here is a sample of what it found in my photo library:

1.  This was not a big deal - it had tons of clues that it was a cricket match
This was from a famous test match in England
2.  The next one was a screen capture from a smartphone of a scorecard from a cricket match

This had the word "Cricket" in the photo
 3.  This was when I started to really be amazed.  This was a screen capture I took of 3 women from Afghanistan celebrating a famous victory.  The only hint here was the score at the bottom.

Afghan women celebrating a famous victory
 4.  This one had few background clues to this being a cricket match.  It is possible since I had grabbed this from the web that Google had indexed it as being a game of cricket.
Cricket match in ice and snow.

5.  This one was totally amazing.  The FIFA trophy would make you think that Google would index this under soccer.  But the 2 people flanking the trophy are 2 famous cricket players.  Google recognized them and brought this up in the search for cricket.  
Tendulkar and Ganguly 
 6.  And lastly - this grainy shot of my TV showing a cricket match - all you can see is the helmet.
Cricket match on TV


Between the amazing experience with Skype translator and this one with Google Photos it seems that machine learning has reached beyond our wildest expectations.