Monday, July 14, 2008

A few thoughts on image retrieval

"I’ve been accused of finding the photo of Andrew Moro (In the opinion of a few…really NOT Andrew Moro I suppose) and creating his Facebook profile in order to promote my “smear” campaign.
They can see that the guy in the photo looks remarkably like Liz Moro. The resemblance is uncanny.
The question they need to answer is…
How did I find it?How did I find a photo of a guy who looks like Liz Moro?
Undoubtedly, they all have a basic understanding of how image retrieval works. This is from Google:
How does image search work?Google analyzes the text on the page adjacent to the image, the image caption and dozens of other factors to determine the image content. Google also uses sophisticated algorithms to remove duplicates and ensure that the highest quality images are presented first in your results.
Google uses a text-based search to retrieve images. Important deciding factors in determining whether or not an image is relevant for a particular search include the name of the image and the surrounding text.
In other words, I must have used the photo’s surrounding text to retrieve it.
Because they assume that this photo isn’t Andrew Moro I couldn’t have used Google’s image search to find photos of “Andrew Moro”.
However, this guy looks exactly like someone named Liz Moro and presumably that’s what I wanted.
Given that, what are some possible search techniques I might have used to retrieve this particular photo?
I might have tried to find a photo of Liz Moro online and hope that there would be family members close-by.
They know there aren’t any photos like that online.
I might have assumed that “Moro” was an Italian surname and then used the image search feature to search for “Italian men”.
I invite someone to try this and see if they find the photo of Andrew Moro.
Another technique would be to search for random photos with .jpg extensions. One could then sift through hundreds of millions of photos searching for a young man who strongly resembles Liz Moro.
I just tried that and I retrieved 562,000,000 results.
The monkeys will type Shakespeare before I go through that and find what I want.
Of course, if I found it…it’s out there for anyone to find, right?
Remember, you can’t use “Andrew Moro” or “Moro” because I supposedly created the Facebook account with someone else’s photo.
So, get to work!"

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