Google Develops Celebrity Face Recognition For YouTube
Researchers have developed an automated technique to associate faces detected in an image with people's names found in Web pages text or tags.
YouTube rose to fame by democratizing stardom. "Broadcast Yourself," the site exhorts. But celebrity isn't democratic. It's a matter of have and have not, and most people fall into the latter category.
Being able to separate the famous from the hoi polloi has certain financial implications for YouTube. Stars attract viewers, so being able to identify videos with A-List talent might suggest where to direct marketing and promotional resources. And because stars tend to feature prominently in videos uploaded to YouTube without authorization, being able to identify popular icons could help spot copyright violations.
Such speculation may offer some hint as to why Google's researchers have been working on celebrity facial-recognition technology.
The problem is that facial recognition on video doesn't work very well in many circumstances. The researchers note that successful examples of facial recognition on video tend to involve constraints, such as a TV anchor appearing as a talking head, without much movement, under controlled illumination.
Thus, the researchers have developed an automated technique to associate faces detected in an image with people's names found in Web pages text or tags. The system doesn't need to be taught and can accommodate the scale at which YouTube operates.
"The Internet is in a constant state of flux, and new 'celebrities' are constantly added to the popular culture even as the celebrities of the past fade," the paper states. "This ability to learn autonomously to constantly add to the existing gallery of celebrities is therefore a major design principle of our work."
The system can recognize "hundreds of thousands of celebrity faces by exploiting the tremendous depth of the Internet," according to the paper.
How Google and YouTube will use this knowledge isn't clear. A YouTube spokesperson said the research is not related to YouTube's Content ID System, which allows content owners to identify and manage their content on the video-sharing site.
At the very least, facial-recognition technology could enhance the user experience on YouTube by ensuring that uploaded videos featuring celebrities include annotations that identify the stars.
The Internet has made video accessible to everyone, including your competition. InformationWeek has published an independent analysis of this topic. Download the report here (registration required).
6 Tools to Protect Big DataMost IT teams have their conventional databases covered in terms of security and business continuity. But as we enter the era of big data, Hadoop, and NoSQL, protection schemes need to evolve. In fact, big data could drive the next big security strategy shift.
Big Data Brings Big Security ProblemsWhy should big data be more difficult to secure? In a word, variety. But the business won’t wait to use it to predict customer behavior, find correlations across disparate data sources, predict fraud or financial risk, and more.
Join us for a roundup of the top stories on InformationWeek.com for the week of December 14, 2014. Be here for the show and for the incredible Friday Afternoon Conversation that runs beside the program.