US-based technology company Microsoft has launched a new image recognition app that
looks at photos of dogs to identify its breed or at least tell the percentage of the closest match in case it cannot make an exact match. The app is the latest in a series of fun projects that are meant to highlight machine learning’s potential.

In this case, that’s the ability to look at an image and make some sort of determination about its contents – basically, it’s teaching machines to make the sort of intuitive leaps that people naturally do The app uses a machine learning technique called deep neural networks, the technology website Tech Crunch reported.

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“There is very advanced work underway at Microsoft in this area, which are able to take
apart subtle differences, even when breeds look similar or through the many different
colors within breeds,” Mitch Goldberg, development director at Microsoft Research in
Cambridge, Britain-based team which built the app, was quoted as saying.

“Every time we add more, that’s the beauty of the deep neural network in understanding
new, unique breeds. This is a really complex problem,” Goldberg added.
To use the app, you simply show it a picture of a dog and it returns with the name of
the breed. If there is no dog in the photo, the app says: “No dogs found!”

Last year, Microsoft launched a website that would guess people’s ages from their
photos. However, the results were a hit or miss because the results depended on the
many factors of the picture such as framing and lightening in the picture.
Similarly, the company released MyMoustache app to recognize and rate facial hair.