Tag Archives: photography

IBM didn’t inform people when it used their Flickr photos for facial recognition training – The Verge

The problem is more widespread then highlighted in the article.  It’s not just these high profile companies using “public domain” images to annotate with facial recognition notes and training machine learning (ML) models.  Anyone can scan the Internet for images of people, and build a vast library of faces.  These faces can then be used to train ML models.  In fact, using public domain images from “the Internet” will cut across multiple data sources, not just Flickr, which increases the sample size, and may improve the model.

The rules around the uses of “Public Domain” image licensing may need to be updated, and possibly a simple solution, add a watermark to any images that do not have permission to be used for facial recognition model training.  All image processors may be required to include a preprocessor to detect the watermark in the image, and if found, skip the image from being included in the training of models.

Source: IBM didn’t inform people when it used their Flickr photos for facial recognition training – The Verge

Politics around Privacy: Implementing Facial and Object Recognition

This Article is Not…

about deconstructing existing functionality of entire Photo Archive and Sharing platforms.

It is…

to bring an awareness to the masses about corporate decisions to omit the advanced capabilities of cataloguing photos, object recognition, and advanced metadata tagging.

Backstory: The Asks / Needs

Every day my family takes tons of pictures, and the pictures are bulk loaded up to The Cloud using Cloud Storage Services, such as DropBox, OneDrive,  Google Photos,  or iCloud.  A selected set of photos are uploaded to our favourite Social Networking platform (e.g. Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat,  and/or Twitter).

Every so often, I will take pause, and create either a Photobook or print out pictures from the last several months.  The kids may have a project for school to print out e.g. Family Portrait or just a picture of Mom and the kids.  In order to find these photos, I have to manually go through our collection of photographs from our Cloud Storage Services, or identify the photos from our Social Network libraries.

Social Networking Platform Facebook

As far as I can remember the Social Networking platform Facebook has had the ability to tag faces in photos uploaded to the platform.  There are restrictions, such as whom you can tag from the privacy side, but the capability still exists. The Facebook platform also automatically identifies faces within photos, i.e. places a box around faces in a photo to make the person tagging capability easier.  So, in essence, there is an “intelligent capability” to identify faces in a photo.  It seems like the Facebook platform allows you to see “Photos of You”,  but what seems to be missing is to search for all photos of Fred Smith, a friend of yours, even if all his photos are public.    By design, it sounds fit for the purpose of the networking platform.

Auto Curation

  1. Automatically upload new images in bulk or one at a time to a Cloud Storage Service ( with or without Online Printing Capabilities, e.g. Photobooks) and an automated curation process begins.
  2. The Auto Curation process scans photos for:
    1. “Commonly Identifiable Objects”, such as #Car, #Clock,  #Fireworks, and #People
    2. Auto Curation of new photos, based on previously tagged objects and faces in newly uploaded photos will be automatically tagged.
    3. Once auto curation runs several times, and people are manually #taged, the auto curation process will “Learn”  faces. Any new auto curation process executed should be able to recognize tagged people in new pictures.
  3. Auto Curation process emails / notifies the library owners of the ingestion process results, e.g. Jane Doe and John Smith photographed at Disney World on Date / Time stamp. i.e. Report of executed ingestion, and auto curation process.

Manual Curation

After upload,  and auto curation process, optionally, it’s time to manually tag people’s faces, and any ‘objects’ which you would like to track, e.g. Car aficionado, #tag vehicle make/model with additional descriptive tags.  Using the photo curator function on the Cloud Storage Service can tag any “objects” in the photo using Rectangle or Lasso Select.

Curation to Take Action

Once photo libraries are curated, the library owner(s) can:

  • Automatically build albums based one or more #tags
  • Smart Albums automatically update, e.g.  after ingestion and Auto Curation.  Albums are tag sensitive and update with new pics that contain certain people or objects.  The user/ librarian may dictate logic for tags.

Where is this Functionality??

Why are may major companies not implementing facial (and object) recognition?  Google and Microsoft seem to have the capability/size of the company to be able to produce the technology.

Is it possible Google and Microsoft are subject to more scrutiny than a Shutterfly?  Do privacy concerns at the moment, leave others to become trailblazers in this area?

KODAKOne platform and KODAKCoin cryptocurrency | An Innovative Path Forward

The KODAKOne image rights management platform will create an encrypted, digital ledger of rights ownership for photographers to register both new and archive work that they can then license within the platform. KODAKCoin allows participating photographers to take part in a new economy for photography, receive payment for licensing their work immediately upon sale, and sell their work confidently on a secure blockchain [cryptocurrency] platform.

Source: KODAKOne platform and KODAKCoin  | Kodak Graphic Communications Group

I’m really excited about these two technologies coming to fruition.  I believe there are several companies already in the digital asset enforcement and management space, such as embedded digital watermarks, so I’m curious how Kodak and WENN Digital will:

  • Crawl the digital landscape we call the Internet and identify potential infringements of licensing for specific digital photos.
  • The ability to “automatically” notify the person(s) or legal business entity who have been flagged for the infringement.
  • Enforcement of licensing or the removal of images.

I’m more skeptical re: Cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin.  However, with KODAKCoin, it gives me more to reflect upon.

Based on the minimum information currently released:

Government-backed regulation
This community [KODAKCoin] will be supported with a set of unique benefits only available by the issuance of KODAKCoin cryptocurrency via an SEC Regulated Initial Coin Offering (ICO).

Branded cryptocurrency could have some legitimate legs which are “relatable” to a wider audience of people who “don’t get it.”  Kodak still has a solid brand, and a business model to integrate the coin.

Aerial Photography Communities Aligned by Interest, Broadcast in Realtime

Although I fail to see the excitement and mass appeal of aerial drone use, the hobby has taken off on the tail end of military UAV.  Just like the stationary 24/7 webcams, and web sites that catalog these cams, the drone networks, or communities may spawn entirely new interest groups.

Do you have a drone with the ability to stream video in realtime?  You may drive a following to your stream based upon a multitude of reasons, e.g. location; subject(s) of focus.  Once airborne, your drone may broadcast to a web site that tracks your drone’s latitude and longitude, as well as dynamically tagging the feed with relevant frame data.  Object recognition may scan each frame, or a sampling for ‘objects of interest’.  Objects of interest may appear to a community of enthusiasts as a ‘tag cloud’.  Users may select a tag, and drill down to a list of active feeds.  Alternatively, users may bring up a map view to show the active drones flights.  The drones may also show ‘bread crumbs’ of a flight, maybe the last 1/2 hour,  the buffered video available.  Could be just an extension of YouTube, or a new platform designed entirely around Drone Realtime Streaming.

There are AT LEAST Two Sides to Every Photo

With Frontback, there are two sides to every iPhone photo | Internet & Media – CNET News.

This article, along with an article in the New York Times that describes the 3-D printer company MakerBot, which entered the market this week  for 3D scanning, and introduced a desktop device called the Digitizer provided me with an epiphany, reading about the Digitizer, there may be a way to make a light weight version of the Digitizer, use a smartphone as the primary camera input, and the other components have Bluetooth integrated to communicate with the smartphone, as well as a slide case to hold the phone steady.  The turntable and two lasers are components that communicate with the smartphone camera and app. that reads in the 3D scanner data recorded.  Pow, mobile 3D scanning.

“The $1,400 Digitizer looks a little like a classic record player, but with lasers. It rotates small objects on a turntable near two lasers and a camera to create a three-dimensional model that can then be reproduced by a 3-D printer. “

The other way I would innovate this technology, instead of a portable 3D Digitizer to record a 3D object, you may be able to take a full 360 degree panoramic picture with a turntable, Bluetooth communication, a base to set your phone, and a bit of patience, similar to the Mars rover panoramic picture.

Our Mind’s Eye Stream for Sale: Who will Own those Portals?

As we approach a brave new world of our Mind’s Eye for Sale, who will own that portal, or jump page to other view’s or other perspectives?  It gets more and more expensive to see the world, and harder to travel.  Sound like Total Recall, the movie, not far off from the path we’re already on without even realizing.  Portals to other people’s perspectives, such as Instagram, seeing life from other people’s interpretations of the world, it is fascinating and alluring to us.

Once the Genie is out of the bottle, it’s hard to turn back.  In all sincerity, a lightweight version of Google’s Android OS for Glass may even be downloadable, and free as it is based on open source.  The Glass is super stylish, but super expensive.  If you’re in the main stream you can afford the glass, if not, you can build your own.  Not that difficult relatively speaking, a kit from Texas Instruments perhaps, such as we’ve seen in the PC world, where they now offer small computer kits for building small computers with Android, and Linux.  If you wanted to build your own Google Glass, how fast will there be imitations, I imagine, faster than you can blink an eye, pun intended.

Google will make it popular and sexy, after that, there could be a flood of imitations.  After all, today we can all build knock off Google Glass, a tiny web cam, a lightweight OS, and Bluetooth integrated with your smartphone for two way interaction, streaming, and communications.  The lightweight OS could today be Linux, but the champion for this effort , Red Hat? No, they are a support and solutions group for a blend of Unix.   No, there are a few hurdles that Google must and have taken, in some cases, partnered with Verizon, who had their own blend of HUD at the 2013 CES conference.  Today, we might mock and jeer people who wore glasses with a mini cam on their glasses.  It might be clunky, the idea is to make it alluring to the masses, as well as going through iterations to make it an acceptable medium to the public.  Once Google, the trailblazer in this endeavor burns through the problems, it will pave the way for a massive wave of alternate choices, become a commodity.  It’s not just the issue with the UI, there are legal battles to be fought, privacy for example, is it safe to drive with them on, and so on.  There needs to be mainstream platforms, so people take advantage, and are lured to independent platforms.  Many other companies might follow, such as Amazon or other cloud based companies.  Maybe even independent sites, web sites, mobile apps, and others joining and integrating with APIs.

Digital Media Platforms: BI Competitive Edge for Businesses & Consumers

This post applies to any digital media platform that distributes news articles, books, music, movies, and more.

As I was looking online at a New York Times article, when I scrolled to the bottom of the screen, a popup appeared and told me I had 9 of 10 free articles left for the month, and I thought that was brilliant.  As digital media becomes more competitive, and the content on the platform varies, regardless if it’s the pay as you go model; trial, with unlimited after trial;  or free until max per month or week as the lure; all companies need to allow their clients or potential clients to see how they are using the digital media platform’s products.

As an example, I would like to see what percentage of Technology articles I am viewing per day, week, or month verses Business articles for a certain periodical, and then I can make an informed decision regarding which periodicals I choose to subscribe to for business and also for Technology.  Maybe digital media companies will evolve to have mixed business models, such as, pay per consumption option for all articles after free until max, then for select sections, such as Business or Technology, they may offer unlimited option for the Business, and eventually even a particular editor of Op-Ed pieces.  It could be a price that is significantly less then getting the whole periodical, but at least you are able to attract consumers that have been less willing to go for the full paper, and don’t want the hassle of a pay per go, or monthly chargeback per use model.

If I want to choose a magazine for photography, and I am into archeology from a specific region, as a perspective buyer, I might want to know from the publisher’s entire content, and not just what I have read, a drill down pie chart of subject matters for all photos, and then after I selected Archeology, what percentage of those articles are from a particular region, a subject, and then a photographer.  This is also a powerful business intelligence tool for existing consumers, and may give you a competitive edge.  Also, alliances, that are able to partner for other content, index, and transform that content, say using NewsMLG2, and then perform sharing margin and chargeback.  The lure to their portal would be the driver for the competition as well as the vast of content, and partnerships.

A Note for Advertisers

There are other forms of Business Intelligence for your digital medial consumption that can be offered, such as indexed content, text, images, and video.  You can not only capture image descriptions, and objects within a video to be indexed, which can be used for advertisers to see what the demographics of consumers are watching videos with the most  sneakers, or smartphones, and descriptions that may include dancing clowns.  This may assist the small to mid side startup digital advertiser to understand the consumers in their target markets, and abstract the data.

Facebook Trying to Kill Off Instagram?

So, the obvious thing here is Facebook wants to kill Off Instagram.  You think core users, won’t care, possibly?  Is it even legal, their new terms of service, questionable, with adding the bit regarding minors being included.  So why buy Instagram, and put outrageous terms to the very popular service.  One reason might be a common tale, where a suitor company will buy what it projects has high market share they are already, or plan on getting into, to allow them to grab mass market share.  The suitor company may already be in the market, and simply can capitalize on their resources, e.g. staff, technology, and then try to run the ship aground, i.e. sabotage. demoting the acquired company by putting a poor taste in the customers path, and the original suitor company offers an alternate path, which attracts the customer base to convert.  Some of the articles in the New York Times, What Instagram’s New Terms of Service Mean for You and an a Mashable OP-ED piece, Instagram Will Basically Sign Your Life Away imply picking up your pitchforks and rally us around Instagram, and apply a crowd mentality to trample yourself away from Instagram.

If this is the Facebook / Instagram business model, as these folk are interpreting the requirements, I am not so personally keen on my daughter using Instagram, and her showing up in an advertisement, as I think I read this bit from the interpreted TOS.  I don’t think the kid would be too keen either, probably for a different reason then her Father.  Advertisements can be taken out of context, or you may loose control of how your face is integrated with a product or service, and might not necessarily agree with its use.  Talk about your type-casting.  A teen shows up in an advertisement for acne, she doesn’t know about the advertisement until it’s posed on her locker, and this is a relatively innocent example..  In addition, a capitalistic kid would say, “I am not particularly keen on my face, or pictures showing up somewhere without my permission, but hey, where is my cut.”

There are already established platforms that sell photographer’s photos through established licencing models, and sure, that may be another more viable model for the Facebook / Instagram folks, but hey, I am just a man with a keyboard, and half a brain.

– Zaphod Beeblebrox

Receive Ad Revenue from your Video Stream of Live Event Coverage

In the not to distant future, distribution rights holders of sporting events and concerts will encourage people to hashtag the event with a link to the event goers’ proprietary streaming video.   ‘External viewers’ of the event can pick up your stream, your coverage of the event.  The event goer providing their Unique Perspective video streaming coverage will receive Ad Revenue for their live stream, which will increase based upon viewership of their event coverage.

The exclusive distributor of the event content (licensee) provides a proprietary streaming application which has Digital Rights Management (DRM) built in so the ‘external viewers’ or subscribers of the event can select one of many view /  feeds, and the DRM prevents the copy of the content, except for the ‘licensee’ who can archive all the streamed content.

What do the “event goers” get who are producing this LIVE, ‘unique perspective‘ content?  Just like affiliate advertising networks, the content creators, and ‘in-part’ distributors would be able to derive revenue based on a number of factors, including  number of views, duration of views, etc.

The exclusive distributor / event licensee may curriate all content into a single platform, e.g. Event Smartphone / Tablet app, that enables those who aren’t at the event to see “ALL” streams in realtime, or after the event, On-Demand.

Also, don’t forget to stream those tailgate parties, and impromptu interviews.

Thanks goes to the New York Times regarding the NBC article and the exclusivity of their Olympic Coverage which sparked the neurons in my head to derive the idea.  Please also see the post: Freelance Streaming Video, Affiliate Advertising Innovation for more implementation details.