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New ways to retrieve photos on the Web

Published: 
27 September 2007
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New ways to search and archive images found on the World Wide Web will be revealed by Dr Jonathan Hare at a Royal Institution lecture in London on 4 October.

Dr Jonathon Hare, from the School of Electronics and Computer Science will join Dr Ewan Birney from the European Molecular Biology Laboratory and Dr Timo Hannay, Publishing Director at Nature.com to deliver a Royal Institution of Great Britain lecture entitled Searching for Science on Thursday 4 October.

Dr Hare has recently successfully completed a project funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council in collaboration with researchers at the University of Brighton, which investigated the semantic gap in image retrieval. In this lecture he will reveal how his work with the holders of image collections has enabled them to search much more efficiently by incorporating an analysis of image content and annotations into their search and then use machine learning techniques so that the computer can learn to sort new photos itself.

‘Google photo-searches involve the search engine searching the words around images rather than the images themselves,’ said Dr Hare. ‘One of the unique aspects of our approach is that we have worked with real image collections and found ways to do an analysis of the images themselves rather than just the background information. The use of machine learning techniques means that in the future, the computer can be programmed to find images which may have no surrounding text by just using the visual content.

’Searching for Science will take place at the Apple Store, 235 Regent Street, London W1B 2ET on Thursday 4 October from 7-8.30pm.

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