Just in the recent past, Microsoft rolled out a brand new app that can be used to identify the breed of any dog. The app which has been titled Microsoft Fetch is essentially an image recognition app that uses images of dogs to identify their species.
In case the app fails to get an exact match from its database, it tells the percentage of closest match that the dog has to a particular species. The app has been released for the iPhone platform and it may be dubbed as one of the Garage Projects of Microsoft.
The company has been working on a number of fun projects for quite some time. With these projects, the company aims at shedding more light on the potential for learning that a machine possesses. The new app has the potential to not only identify the breed of a dog, it also possesses the ability to determine to some extent the contents of any image.
Microsoft has built the app by incorporating an advanced learning technique which is called the deep neural networks into it. The method is so advanced in nature that it enables the app to distinguish even between very similar breeds of dogs. It has the capability to separate one breed from other even when they share similar features.
It can also distinguish between various in-breed colors of the dogs. Mitch Goldberg, a development director at Microsoft Research in Cambridge stated that Microsoft is still hard at work in making the technique even more refined and accurate.
He added that addition of more information to the technique and making it understand and identify the new and unique breeds of dogs is quite a challenge for the developers.
The company has been working on the technology for quite some time now. At the 15th Annual Microsoft Research Faculty Summit which was held in July 2014, Microsoft made a demonstration in which they showed that a machine was able to distinguish between dogs and human beings.
A website by the name of What-Dog.net was also launched by the company in this regard. However, with the app the company has made significance progress in this technique. The app has been able to garner positive reactions from users since its release. It has received a 3 out of 5 rating in the Apple App Store.
However, all is not well for Microsoft, as besides getting positive reviews, the app has also been hit with a fair amount of criticism from its users.
Some users have stated that app is inaccurate and fails to identify the right breed of a dog from its photo. Others stated that the on several occasions the app fails in picking up the image itself.
Microsoft launched the app around the same time the American Kennel Club’s Meet & Compete as well as the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show events were held.
This is not the first instance of Microsoft making use of image recognition technology. This technology has been previously used by the company when it launched a site which could tell the age of a person by using a photo of him or her.
However, it was seen that the site failed to make accurate guesses in most of the instances. The reason behind this could be accounted to the fact that the technology had to depend on a number of factors like lighting and framing of the photos to give the results. These variables prevented the software from making accurate guesses in many instances.
Another similar app which is called the MyMoustache has also been launched by the company. This app makes use of the similar technique to not only identify the types of facial hair but also give a rating to them. Microsoft released the app to honor “Movember”, which is a facial hair fundraising event.