We love bringing you news stories about AI and how it is changing our world. The only downside to all of this is that we often wonder where most of us will be in a world where AI can do most tasks.
That said, some of us take comfort in the knowledge that AI, in most cases, just isn’t there yet.
But today Microsoft wants to show us a piece of artificial intelligence that is not only on par with humans but also exceeds them when it comes to accuracy in describing a photo.
From Microsoft’s own blog describing the research, “The new model is now available to customers via the Azure Cognitive Services Computer Vision offering, which is part of Azure AI, enabling developers to use this capability to improve accessibility in their own services. It also is being incorporated into Seeing AI and will start rolling out later this year in Microsoft Word and Outlook, for Windows and Mac, and PowerPoint for Windows, Mac and web.
Automatic image captioning helps all users access the important content in any image, from a photo returned as a search result to an image included in a presentation. A research breakthrough like this one can improve those results, although it doesn’t mean the system will return perfect results each time.”
As for what this could be used for at the user level, it looks like it will come in handy when generating metadata for small or large quantities of media, among other things.
Software engineering manager with Microsoft’s AI platform group in Redmond Saqib Shaikh said of feature in Azure AI, “Ideally, everyone would include alt text for all images in documents, on the web, in social media – as this enables people who are blind to access the content and participate in the conversation. But, alas, people don’t. So, there are several apps that use image captioning as [a] way to fill in alt text when it’s missing.”
What do you think of the accuracy of Microsoft’s AI? How long do you think it will be before AI starts performing most tasks in a superior fashion when compared with its human makers? Let us know your thoughts on this story in the comments section below if you like.
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