The era of Image Recognition

We are living in a corporate world where technologies tend to change rapidly. It is difficult to keep up with these changing technology trends. One such technology which is gravitating in all the enterprises is Image Recognition.

What does it mean?

The method of recognizing people, facial expressions, objects, places, logos, etc. from an image or a video.  In simple words, an Image recognition application can recognize anything that you train it with. Machine Learning algorithms with the combination of AI is applied on images to analyze the data in them.

Manually tagging your friends on images uploaded to Facebook is a thing of the past. When you upload a picture, it immediately identifies your friend’s face and tags them. How cool is that?

How is it useful?

Image Recognition is not just limited to recognizing a cat (or) a dog from a photo. It has evolved into a much-advanced phase in which we are able to build an autonomous car. Yes, a self-driving car which can analyze its surroundings like traffic signals, street signs, pedestrians, etc and drive through the lanes without human intervention.

Ever since the advent of ImageNet, a lot of enterprises are showing interest towards image classification. Organizations might have an enormous set of images to process. If a database is not maintained for the metadata of the images, classifying them will be a hectic task. Image recognition helps in classifying and organizing images automatically.

Visual content – Aid for visually impaired. It’s not a dream anymore, it’s reality. Whether it might be a room number, a name badge or a product in Walmart, visually impaired people can point the app(built with Image Recognition) in their mobile towards it and the app speaks it out.

These may sound simple but a huge human effort, billions of photos and a lot of computing power are used in the backend to achieve these.

What are the available tools?

Clarifai, IBM Watson Visual recognition, Amazon Rekognition, Google Image Recognition, Microsoft Custom Vision, OpenCV are some of the tools which provide top-notch Image recognition capabilities. Every tool has its own set of capabilities ranging from face detection, logo detection, text recognition, sentiment analysis, brightness and color detection to facial analysis and landmark/scene detection. It even recognizes the dress color of the person in an image and also specifies whether he has a beard or not.

How to get started?

If you are thinking to play with Image Recognition, there are a lot of pre-trained models available online in the form of API’s or packages. You can use them in your favorite language and start analyzing your images instantly.

If you want to go a step further and get personalized insight from the images, you can always create custom models for that. Whatever the model we choose, we have to perfectly label the objects in the training image set, so that the model can learn location invariant features automatically thereby providing accurate results.

By looking at the way Image Recognition is helping solve problems at hand for various business verticals, I can say that we are living in an era of Image Recognition. It is already widespread with which we were able to achieve so much more than ever. Give it a few years, you can see it in action in every corner of the world.

About the author

Mounika Chirukuri
Mounika Chirukuri

I'm a developer and has 3+ years of IT experience. I have knowledge on Big Data, chatbots and RPA technologies. I'm always learning and new technologies will interest me more. I'm a fun loving person, a pencil sketch artist and loves to read.

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