Microsoft is putting its artificial intelligence technology to use in a unique way by integrating it into a new app called "Fetch!", which identifies any dog's breed just by looking at a photo. The Redmond-based software titan's new app, launched Thursday, has a fun side to it: It can say what type of canine you would be if you were a dog.
In an official Microsoft blog, the company said Fetch! is a part of researchers' continued efforts in the AI space, which has developed innovative experiences such as HowOld.net, TwinsOrNot.net, MyMoustache.net and Mimicker Alarm. According to Microsoft, the Fetch! app can be used for fun and intellectual purposes and its AI is smart enough to identify anything other than a dog, or at least try.
"If you want to take photos of dogs, it will tell you what dog breed it is, if it's one of our supported breeds," Mitch Goldberg, a development director at Microsoft Research whose Cambridge, UK-based team built the experience, said in a statement. "If I choose to take a photograph of a flower, it'll say, 'No dogs found! Hmmm... This looks more like...flower?"
We took Fetch! for a spin to identify some dog breeds and found accurate results for the pre-existing images in What-Dog.net, a website created for the app. Users can upload any picture and see what results come up. If you use a person's photo, Fetch! flips to the fun side and gives the name of a dog's breed and its qualities if that person were a dog.
We noticed some discrepancies in identifying some dog breeds. For instance, we uploaded a picture of a St Bernard, and Fetch! identified it as American Akita and Leonberger, which by the way are a close match. The app identified a lion and a wolf as Shetland Sheepdog and Alaskan Malamute, respectively.
Fetch! has a feedback feature that lets you correct wrong identifications. "So if you're sure your dog is one thing when the app says it's another, send us that info. Every image improves it," Chris O'Prey, another software development engineer working with the Fetch! team, said.
"We'll be able to look at trends and see what breeds we're classifying incorrectly," Goldberg added. "And we'll be able to iterate and improve our classifier."
Microsoft Fetch! can be a great fun app in identifying your friends with different breeds of dogs. We tested it with some people's photos and got interesting results.