Welcome to the future: Google is now using facial recognition technology to identify people’s pets.
The Californian tech giant’s photo storing app, Google Photos, can now automatically recognise pets via their faces, it announced in a blog post — letting users search for their pets by name.
The feature works on both cats and dogs, and a Google spokesperson confirmed to Business Insider that it doesn’t just differentiate between dogs by breed — it should be able to distinguish between individual four-legged friends.
(Although you can also search by breed, if it takes your fancy.)
Google Photos is known for its use of AI to analyse the subject of users’ photos. Search for “beach,” and it will (in theory) return you your holiday snaps; search “burger” and it will show you all your shameful meals at McDonald’s.
The new pet search will work in the same way: It automatically recognises canine and feline faces and groups then together, letting you search for them by name if you’ve opted in to the feature. You can then make them into digital albums, videos, or even a physical photo book, Google suggests.
“We hope these features help you better celebrate your four-legged family members in all of their paw-some-ness,” Google Photos software engineer Lily Kharevych wrote.
The tech is a novel demonstration of just how far image recognition technology has come. Computers can now differentiate between different pets of the same breed — and Google is using it to sell photo books.
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