Google Blogoscoped

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Google Buys Neven Vision

Google announced they acquired Neven Vision to help on image object recognition technology for products like Picasa (Riya was rumored to fill this niche too, but apparently they lost the race). Wouldn’t it be nice to have a web album application which automatically labels images by recognizing persons, objects and places? Or imagine Google Images searching not just for keywords contained in the HTML page... but also for keywords extracted from images themselves.

I think that illustrates the kind of company Google is looking out for to achieve long term goals: those that solve tough and modular, but not necessarily fashionable problems (as opposed to, say, acquiring, which has a great community but is neither a back-end module you can plug-in to existing services, nor does it tackle very tough problems... though who knows, they might just end up buying on both ends).

And image recognition is a tough problem indeed – easy for humans, hard for AI. Sergey Brin back in 2004 said, “I don’t think that in the near future we’re going to have a service that takes a picture, and the computer decides, oh, that’s an elephant, so we search for an elephant. That seems funny to us. We should be able to do it.”

The discussion started in the forum.

[Thanks Tony Ruscoe and Manoj Nahar.]


Blog  |  Forum     more >> Archive | Feed | Google's blogs | About


This site unofficially covers Google™ and more with some rights reserved. Join our forum!