Artificial Intelligence

How Bing uses AI to search what you see in your smartphone camera

Microsoft's visual search technology allows users to exchange keywords for images on Bing mobile applications.

The Bing mobile application can now use visual technology to search the web using images, according to a Thursday Bing blog post. Intelligent visual search builds upon the Intelligent Search features Bing announced last December, which uses artificial intelligence (AI) to give you more comprehensive search results, according to the Bing Team.

If you see a landmark or a flower, for example, take a picture using the app, or upload a photo from your camera roll. Bing will use AI to determine the object in question and provide more information, the post said.

In fact, users can even shop fashion or home furnishings with the app. Take a photo of a chair you like, and Bing will find the chair's price and details. Or, if a friend has a shirt you like but it is out of your price range, upload a picture of the shirt to Bing and it will find similar shirts.

SEE: IT leader's guide to the future of artificial intelligence (Tech Pro Research)

"Sometimes, it is almost impossible to describe what you want to search for using words," explained Microsoft product lead Vince Leung in a blog post. Visual search uses algorithms based off data sets with millions of labeled images, along with web images. The more data searched in Bing, the more the algorithm learns, and the more the app improves, said the post.

The application is available for both iOS and Android, as well as Microsoft Launcher (Android only), said the post. The capability is also available for Microsoft Edge for Android, and will be rolling out soon to Microsoft Edge for iOS and Bing.com.

Business professionals already know how AI is revolutionizing the enterprise. Between AI's impact on data processing, security practices, hiring tools, analytics, and customer experience, AI is continually being relied on to help run the business.

With Bing's integration of visual search, however, AI is not only infiltrating business, but the daily lives of consumers and professionals as well. Intelligent visual search is only foreshadowing the presence AI will have in our day-to-day. By simply snapping a photo, we let AI educate us and help us make purchasing decisions. Most individuals enjoy AI because it makes our lives easier. And, the more we use AI, the greater the market grows.

The big takeaways for tech leaders:
  • Bing is now able to search images in its mobile app, using intelligent visual search technology, said the Bing Team in a Thursday blog post.
  • Users can also search items they want to buy, and Bing will find the object and suggest similar products.

Also see

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Image: iStockphoto/ijeab

About Macy Bayern

Macy Bayern is a Multiplatform Reporter for TechRepublic. A recent graduate from the University of Texas at Austin's Liberal Arts Honors Program, Macy covers tech news and trends.

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