Picasa’s face detection is eerie

After using Picasa’s face detection tool from the time it was unveiled, I have always wondered why there is no simple api for it to be used across urls/local storage?

The way it extracts features and does the clustering even if picture is rotated/fuzzy is just awesome.  There are very few false positives. How they extract feature and normalize across rotation and fuzziness is something I would love to understand. All of this without ever training with “best picture(s)” comes across very refreshing.  If this api which I am sure all search engines have in certain degree, is made public, it will help solve lot of challenges existing today.  I have tried using few xrays, mri scans without much success though.

If you want to try/understand face detection/clustering and related stuff

– OpenCV tool –  http://www.cognotics.com/opencv/servo_2007_series/part_2/sidebar.html

One of the many research behind the technology in OpenCV-

http://research.microsoft.com/~viola/Pubs/Detect/violaJones_CVPR2001.pdf

At some point Photosynth too has to do this to accomplish sticthing across images and creating walkthroughs, point cloud A little different from face detection and matching, but nonetheless similar thing.

http://photosynth.net/view.aspx?cid=28d131ab-4cc6-4702-9278-7790f2c33cb4

Update: 16 July 2010:

Paper – http://portal.acm.org/citation.cfm?id=1290121 (Eigenfaces representation)

Picasa’s face detection is eerie

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