What if Facebook could auto-tag uploaded photos?

Facebook could become the ultimate platform for training facial recognition systems. Almost every photo uploaded to the site is of someone. The first thing that you do is to tag the people in the photo, creating a link between the photo and the related person.

But what would happen if the tagging process worked in conjunction with facial recognition technology? Every time a person was tagged in an image you could help the system learn what that person looks like. Eventually the system could become “smart” enough to recognise people on its own.

Auto-tagging photos – it’s the way forward, and you heard it here first!

3 thoughts on “What if Facebook could auto-tag uploaded photos?”

  1. This would last until a Gordon Brown lookalike started uploading pictures of himself in odd situations, and Facebook auto-tagged them as Gordon Brown.

  2. Apple’s iPhoto ’09 does this already with its “Faces” feature, but I agree that with the hundreds of photos of each person facebook has uploaded by your friends it could be more powerful – although some people may raise privacy concerns, such as it being used to recognise clothes and the colours you tend to wear, the places you go to and the products in the photos, to craft targeted advertising.

  3. (isn’t this what “Face”book should already be doing? ;-) )

    It would be like a distributed iPhoto 09! That would rock. They would likely have to limit the recognition to people you know, or at least let you specify the privacy settings for it. However, I think this would be an awesome idea.

    Let’s take it one step further: Once they’ve got a pretty intelligent “face” on file for you, allow you to export that as some sort of standard face format. Then you could import that file into iPhoto, Picasa, and any other photo application (or web app) that supports the face format. Then these systems would become smart, too. I smell a new file format standard coming on.

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