TELL ME WHAT I’M EATING: HOW FAR CAN PHOTO RECOGNITION GO?
“You had fun last night!”
A statement most of us have heard all too many times while nursing rather a thick head. Unfortunately, it’s certainly not uncommon to hear those dreaded words from people you didn’t even spend your evening with. But before I fall off onto a completely different tangent of humiliating antics, the first thing we usually do, would be to check our phones. It doesn’t take a modern Sherlock to know the probable reason they knew what happened the evening before was because of some form of social media acting as a platform of embarrassing exposure with documented evidence. In particular, I’m talking about the now feared Facebook tag.
Having grown up with Facebook since my last few years in school, I suppose nothing should surprise me with its powers. Heck, I’ll probably be banking with them soon. However, certain things do still make me question its ability to interact with our lives. After recently reading an article on New Scientist about a new algorithm that can correctly tag someone just from what they’re wearing, the way their hair is styled, or how they’re sitting. It really got me thinking about how far technology has advanced and really, what this actually means for us. Then I really did start going off on a tangent – what realistic advances could we see soon?
Here at The Forge, we like our Food PR, and of course, we’re always looking for alternative ways to expose our brands. Which again, got me thinking, if Facebook can detect my blurred face, as I desperately try to avoid a photo. What’s to stop it from recognising household products and automatically tagging them? I’m not talking about Facebook recognising a KitKat wrapper that’s been discarded in the background of a picture. I’m talking about recognising specific products and more importantly, the brands that make it.
Preaching to those PRs out there in charge of company Facebook pages, a massive barrier to engagement is exposure and tracking. Yes, it’s obviously now a lot easier for customers to tag pictures of brands and increase engagement but it would sure be hell of a lot easier if it did it automatically.
Our wonderful client Lizi’s Granola would be an exceptional example of this. Granola actually makes for some pretty stunning pictures. I’m often impressed with the effort and creativity that customers put in to enhancing their pictures to express their evidence that they eat a healthy breakfast. But as much as we can encourage engagement our end, for us to see their creations relies solely on them finding, and tagging us on a social media platform. As much as it is actually a simple task, for some, this might just be too much effort. Being given that option to tag instantly because the product has been recognised with this new algorithm would be a dream – you heard it here first. Just think about the amount of social media tracking graphs we’d be able to make then!
I might just be living in a social media fantasyland here, but coming into the office and hearing the words, “Lizi’s had a good night” instead, would make me feel a whole lot more confident about checking Facebook notifications.