There is no denying that artificial intelligence has made monumental advances within the last decade, even though lots of these advances go overlooked as mere technological convenience on technologyreview.com. The recent success in the development of visual search is proof of this. What may seem to be an easier way of doing things, can also hold the potential to change the way the world is connected, as well as how computers will eventually perceive the world around us and them. MIT technological Review published a press release that explained how visual search works exactly, including the possible applications for the future(link provided below).
Chances are you are either using or have at least heard of the audio search technology, where you can record a song being played externally from your smartphone and have information on the track appear after it has been identified. The same idea is being utilized by visual search technology, except that instead of using your phone’s microphone you use your internal camera. By snapping a photo of what you wish to identify, it is then processed and identified within a database. The true magic of being able to do this is that not only are you restricted to two-dimensional items. This means that you could take a photo of a dress or item on display, and have it identified for later purchase and price comparison from other sources.
Not only does visual search mean revolution in terms of how consumers purchase items from within the world around them, but the prospects of it being used as an educational tool have some people excited as well. Imagine finding a statue that catches your interest, but there is not information on its creator or other key elements of interest. Visual search could allow you to identify it and to learn various facts about it in the process, such as the artwork’s history and so on. This could mean that everyday users of this new technology could not only shop more easily and remain connected by their smartphones, but also be informed about so many aspects of the world around them like it is nothing at all.
Some theorize that in giving technology the ability to see and identify the world around it, eventually the time will come where it realizes and understands itself even. Whether this is welcomed or not is a matter of heated debate and discussion.