Marissa Mayer Capitalizes On Mundane To Drive AI Photo-Sharing App

Demonstrating how artificial intelligence (AI) can benefit all types of businesses, former Google executive and Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer, who co-founded the startup technology company Sunshine, has launched a photo-sharing and event-planning app, which has some people across the internet scratching their heads.

Mayer says she wants to automate mundane tasks, and that photo sharing is broken. It's not clear how the app will generate revenue or whether it will offer brands advertising in the service, but one thing is certain -- it's targeted at creators, professional and amateur photographers to immortalize events, trips and other experiences, and, most importantly, to share.

The app, however, has met with mixed reviews and criticism for an engineer who has had a very successful career. 

Nick Braun on X responded to Mayer’s announcement of the app on X, commenting that iMessage works pretty well.

In response, Mayer wrote that “unfortunately, iMessage requires each person to share with every other person. It also means that everyone needs everyone else's contact,” adding in a post on X: “For group photo sharing, it works much better to have contacts pooled in an album - allows you to share with a slightly bigger group 5-20+ people. Also means that you can share with friends or friends who may not have your contact info.”

When Braun asked “How would I share with someone if I didn’t have their contact info?” Mayer did not respond.

But Nico Garcia did, writing: “Having worked at WhatsApp this is a common issue. They were not designed originally to share as albums and Google Photos requires a lot of friction.”

Some like the app, but do not like the user interface. One X user asked Mayer to hire a designer. “The app serves a great purpose but its visual design is shockingly bad and outdated.”

Mayer was Google's first female engineer and twentieth employee. She spent 13 years at the technology company before becoming CEO of Yahoo. 

The AI-driven app is based on technology that analyzes photos to determine where and when it was taken, identify who and what’s in the photo, how many times the photo was taken. All of those signals tell the user when the photographer might want to share it with someone else.

Part of the website revolves around photo albums that are based on formal and informal events, from weddings to conferences. The website creates invitations and R.S.V.P.’s with help from AI. Once someone responds to an invitation for an event, they are joined to that shared album.

It's a similar process to creating a SMS messaging group, and every time a photo is taken, the people in the group can automatically receive or share related photographs.

There is a plan to add video sharing in the future, but for now, the app is free..

The company -- which is primarily self-funded by Mayer -- started with focusing on content management, offering a subscription service.

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