Tag Archives: images

People better than algorithms – official!

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Google Invests in Pixazza, An AdSense for Images is another neat little crowdsourcing initiative. What interested me the most was this: “As James Everingham, Pixazza’s CTO, states, “No computer algorithm can identify a black pair of Jimmy Choo boots from the 2009 fall collection in the same way a person can. Rather than rely on image analysis algorithms, our platform enlists product experts to drive the process.” ”

In other words, they are paying indexers/cataloguers. Not very much, it’s true, but it is still good to see someone in tech admitting that old fashioned human beings still have their uses! Image recognition algorithms are getting better all the time, but we haven’t even really conquered text processing yet.

Library of Congress Photos on Flickr

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Library of Congress Photos on Flickr should be an interesting experiment in how well social tagging can sort out content. It meets the criteria of having a lot of content that is currently very hard to find, and comprehensive recall is not essential (if some photos remain unfindable despite the social tagging, it’s a shame but not a disaster). The Library presumably has decided it would rather have any tagging than none and is reluctant to spend money. It also has a high profile and most likely the good will of the experienced taggers of the Flickr community. I would think it would also provide the librarians with a good starting point for organising their image metadata if they decide they want or need to do some more formal sorting out further on down the line. Definitely one to watch.