Image Recognition- New Avenue for Target Advertising

17 Oct

According to an article on Techvibes, Eyealike has invented VisualAd, an advertising based software which recognizes all the attributes of any image in any picture. VisualAd can discern the color of a person’s skin, hair length and color, gender, age and facial features which helps tailor advertisements towards what advertisers think each person would like. They don't stop with people, they can pick up logos on shirts or hats, other businesses which appear in the pictures and background text.  VisualAd can now enter a realm of hypertargeting and truly insert themselves into our lives.
The popularity of uploading images to Flickr and Facebook makes this a very viable and probably very successful tool. What may put Eyealike first in this field is the amount of accuracy with their product. The software self teaches and gets smarter with every image, therefore, creating a better understanding of the clusters it makes and then providing more accurate customer information as it goes along. It also pulls information from the users profile to help make distinctions and give a more powerful selection of data to make sure the assumptions made are more precise. Relating each photo back to one another and then cross referencing them with the users profile will determine with a 90% accuracy that a picture does contain a Mercedes, the Eiffel Tower, a Heineken, a GAP T-shirt, a Chihuahua, A Tale of Two Cities and any number of items .
My feelings on the issues of the privacy invasion are torn. On one hand, we have advertisers knowing more about us even if we don’t add any information about ourselves to our social software pages and/or no matter what privacy settings we use. They can still track our likes, dislikes, friends, clothing and overall demographics. On the other hand, wouldn’t we want them understanding our likes and interests to open our eyes to other items we might enjoy and never thought of buying?

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