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Google's latest object recognition tech can spot everything in your living room

Jon Fingas, @jonfingas
September 8, 2014
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Automatic object recognition in images is currently tricky. Even if a computer has the help of smart algorithms and human assistants, it may not catch everything in a given scene. Google might change that soon, though; it just detailed a new detection system that can easily spot lots of objects in a scene, even if they're partly obscured. The key is a neural network that can rapidly refine the criteria it's looking for without requiring a lot of extra computing power. The result is a far deeper scanning system that can both identify more objects and make better guesses -- it can spot tons of items in a living room, including (according to Google's odd example) a flying cat. The technology is still young, but the internet giant sees its recognition breakthrough helping everything from image searches through to self-driving cars. Don't be surprised if it gets much easier to look for things online using only vaguest of terms.

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