Commentary

Wolfram Alpha Introduces Reverse Image Search

Take a picture of an image or upload one to a site and the technology can identify and return results. It's a feature that search engines have been working on. Wolfram Alpha launched their version Wednesday. Imageidentify.com identifies the picture and returns results, complete with data behind the visual such as weight, height, origin, and more. 

Wolfram Alpha is the company's flagship product, which they refer to as a computational engine, and ImageIdentify is just one of thousands of functions built into the Wolfram Language.

The page, Wolfram Language Image Identification Project, allows anyone to drag a picture from a Web page, desktop or phone to the window on the page. The technology behind the feature provides information about what it identifies.

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It seems to me the technology could come in handy when hiking through a dense forest, and traveling in new territories or unfamiliar places. Taking an image of something and loading it on the Web page brings up a description of the image in the photo.

I tried pulling in an image of Annabelle, my Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier before a haircut. The tool didn't get it correct, but came close. It called the dog breed a Lakeland terrier.

"It won’t always get it right, but most of the time I think it does remarkably well," wrote Steven Wolfram, creator and founder of Wolfram Alpha, in a blog post. "And to me what’s particularly fascinating is that, when it does get something wrong, the mistakes it makes mostly seem remarkably human."

Wolfram calls the tool a practical example of artificial intelligence. It relies on use and will learn more in time. The more people use it, the more accurate become the results.

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