WOLFRAM ALPHA has released a new site designed to help you identify any image that you throw at it.
The 'fact engine' that curates answers rather than offering search page results seems the logical place to be able to show a picture and ask the question: 'What is this?'
Google has long been experimenting with image searching, including the notoriously hit-and-miss-and-even-misser Google Goggles app, but the Wolfram version is ... well it's not that much better really.
Creator Steven Wolfram, who once predicted that Wolfram Alpha would soon be able to read minds, talked about his own experiences using the ImageIdentify function in an Image Identification Project blog post.
"It won’t always get it right," he understates. "But most of the time I think it does remarkably well. And to me what’s particularly fascinating is that, when it does get something wrong, the mistakes it makes mostly seem remarkably human."
Alright, we said, and tried some images. The first was a picture of Nigel Farage which it identified as 'booth'. Perhaps it meant 'plank'.
The second was the Netflix logo, which it identified as 'flats'.
A picture of the recreated ZX Spectrum was identified as a 'pocket calculator'. Getting warmer. A capybara was identified as ... a capybara and went on to give us loads of information about it.
And The INQUIRER logo? It came back with 'logo'. Which rather demonstrates Mr Wolfram's point about the feature being somewhat human, if a bit literal.
Speaking of which, a picture of Steven Wolfram returned the answer 'podium'. So no recognition for the creator.
Unfortunately, it couldn't identify a map of France at all and just came back with a big question mark. Sorry, France.
You can try the technology for yourself by going to ImageIdentify and dragging and dropping your photos. We think there might even be a drinking game in this, but we're still working on the rules. µ
And it'll even undo the damage
Affected employees have 60 days to find a new home at the company
Doesn't inspire confidence in HongMeng's appeal
But don't get too excited if you've already got one