Artificial Intelligence (AI) is all the rage these days and companies are pouring millions of dollars into its research and development. Soon, the Photos app in Windows 10 will get some AI-magic which should make it easier for you to find the photos you have taken. Let's see how.
In case you do not know, Microsoft is not the first to add this to their photos offering. Apple Photos already has it and so does Google. Here is how it works. Google scans your photos and intelligently analyzes them to identify their content, so you can find them easily even if you have not added tags or keywords to your photos. If you head over to photos.google.com, sign in with your Gmail account that you use on your Android device, you can type a few search terms and see if it finds stuff from your photos. For example, searching for 'birthday' should return various birthday photos. If a user searches for the word "sky," it should bring up all of the users photos showing the sky.
The software AI algorithm does all the magic, meaning, your privacy is not violated. Of course this means, there is always a possibility of errors and you won't always get what you search for, or that often, the wrong photos will turn up in your search.
The Photos app in Windows 10 will soon get a similar feature. The content of photos will be identified and cataloged based on categories, colors, months and faces. With the new updated Photos app, a search bar is present in the top right corner. When users choose to search, their photos will be indexed through OneDrive.
Once the indexing is done, you will get a dropdown menu showing pictures of people's faces as well as suggested tags to search for. Although OneDrive is being used by Microsoft for indexing the photos, the photos themselves are stored locally and not in the cloud unless you sync them with OneDrive. The AI technology is also used to suggest suitable albums for your photos. When users hover over a suggested album with the mouse, a slideshow of the photos included in the album will play. All photos inside one album will share similar tags. If users like what they see, they can quickly save the suggested album by clicking 'Add to your albums' button.
Regardless, many users will have privacy concerns and will not be comfortable with the content of their photos being indexed this way, especially faces so there will be a way to opt out of this. Just go to Viewing and editing options under Settings. Users should see a toggle marked for "People."
Overall, this new feature in the Photos app should be a welcome change for those who regularly take lots of pictures but do not take the time to catalog and tag them. OneDrive allows storing up to 1 TB of photos so managing them only gets easier with the AI-powered search system.
This new feature is currently only available to Windows 10 Insider Preview users who have version 2017.35063.13610.0 of the Photos app. It should become broadly available to all Windows 10 users along with the Fall Creators Update which is due for release later in 2017.
Image credits: WindowsCentral.com