Riya: Photo Searching with Face Recognition

RiyaRiya is a relatively new beta service that allows you to categorise and store your photos. Sounds pretty similar to Flickr… its drawcard though is its face recognition technology.

The face and text recognition engineers and developers at Riya believe it is time for a new type of photo searching. A photo search that looks deep inside photos and automatically tags them, revolutionizing how people “See” the world.

Once you have an account and have uploaded your photos you can start training the Riya software to recognize individuals. Making future tagging of photos a breeze. No more DSC0003.jpg named images!

The question is, do you want web systems around the world to know your face, be able to recognize you and tag you, as soon as someone uploads an image even slightly resembling you! Big brother will be watching. There are certainly some pictures I don’t want to be associated with, usually involving a little bit of alcohol.

Riya: Face Recognition Tagging

When I read a review of something new, I always make the effort of reading a few comments on the article, to see what the readers think. With Riya, there are a lot of positive, and a lot of negative remarks.

The software obviously works well for some people, as the Riya site has had over a million photos uploaded in the first two days since its launch. That says something!

The negatives: training the system to recognize faces can take ages, it involves drawing a box around each person’s face, and then tagging that face. It also seems that the Riya system often regards beer bottles as faces … I don’t see the resemblance.

What is the point of tagging a whole bunch of faces, when I know who they are, and my friends and family probably do too. Who do I want to tell? Joe Blog sitting in Denmark?

Riya’s real value will probably be in its (hopeful) future developments. Exporting tags to other photo sharing software like Flickr.

Other sources:

Jake Jarvis: Wirecatcher

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