Monday, September 28, 2009

Adventures with Picasa face-recognition

Picasa 3 now has face-recognition functionality. Not only is this new feature extremely useful, it also is good for a few laughs. There's the way it mistakes one child for another, like mixing up pictures of Miriam when she was younger with current pictures of Magdalena. Or how it has an uncanny ability to group families together, like when it sorted an entire branch of Miriam's cousins under one name.

Then there's the way it sneaks in über-freaky photos of complete strangers into your daughter's photo group:

Take a closer look. Notice anything amiss? I'll give you a hint: ONE OF THESE THINGS IS NOT LIKE THE OTHERS.

I don't know who that woman is, or why she is lurking creepily in the background of one of my photos, but she is not Miriam.

It turns out she was in the background of this picture:
Phew! Mystery solved.

Picasa's ability to sift out every face from every picture background can be unsettlingly impressive at times. Here's what it pulled from a photo I took yesterday at the Ithaca Apple Festival (blog post to come):
I never would have taken a second glance at those people. I didn't even notice them in the background of the picture I took. But there they are, foisted upon me, forever immortalized in my Picasa photo album (except I can delete them if I want to).

I ended up adding the matryoshka doll that sits on our piano as its own person because Picasa kept identifying its face in the background and asking who it was.

As you can see, the good times to be had are endless. Has anyone else had a chance to play with this function yet?


Liz Johnson said...

I am mildly creeped out that all sorts of random people probably have pictures of me on their Picasa. And they're like, "Who is that chick? And why does she have pizza hanging out of her mouth??"

Susanne said...

I'm glad you found out who that creepy woman was in Miriam's batch of pictures. Never played with that function before, but it looks quite entertaining.

Kristen said...

I was so excited when the ReadMe came up about the new feature. I've known you can label people in photos for a long time, and while it would have been so helpful a number of times to be able to look at all of the pictures of a certain person with the click of a button, I've never had time to go through each one and label them. This new technology is going to be so fun. I can't wait to see what oddities pop up in mine!

JackJen said...

Ummm, I'd say that Picasa 3 is an example to us all. YOU might not care about all of those people in your photos, but PICASA does. =)

Mikael said...

I haven't played with this yet, but I LOVE picasa! Have you seen the "snipping tool" from Windows? It's awesome! You can pretty much crop, cut, save anything on your screen so you don't have to do a full shot of your WHOLE ENTIRE computer screen... google it. but it is awesome and looks like you would like it.


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