Google Photos : Artificial Intelligence for your pics

Google Photos is one cool offering from Google. As mentioned in my earlier post, you get to backup each and every photo you have taken or will take in the days to come. And all this for free!! How cool is that!

But that's not all. Google Photos does a lot of insanely cool stuff which makes it one app you definitely should have on your phone, especially if you keep clicking a lot of photos.


Google Photos automatically creates collages, animations and videos by bunching together pics that Google thinks are related. So it could be a collage of your anniversary celebrations or an animation of  pics you took at the beach or a video of your kid growing up through his first year! Additionally, it also throws up "Rediscover this day" reminders like facebook, so that you revisit that basketball match you played with college friends 7 years back :)

And all this Google manages to do on its own using its Artificial Intelligence to understand which pics are related and should be put together for best results!


Google runs this face recognition algorithm to identify people in each and every pic you have taken over the years. And then it creates a folder for each person and puts it under the People tab. So if you want to find that photos of your college mate that you  took years ago, you just need to go to Album > People and click on your friend's folder. You can also add a name to a face and then you can directly search by name.

This is what my People folder looks like :)

And if you look closely, Google also identified Jesus Christ from the photos hanging on the walls in the background and created a folder for Him as well :)


And Google does not stop at face recognition. It takes it a step further with object recognition. It recognises objects in the pics and allows you to search directly for object names.

For example, I had been to Mysore some months back and was looking for the pics I had taken of the giraffes at the Mysore zoo. What would generally take hours to search, took mere seconds, because I could just type "giraffe" in the search box and there were the giraffes in all their glory.

You can also see that the search results returned an artificial giraffe as well because Google corrrectly matches its profile to that of a giraffe's.

But what baffled me was what was that last pic doing here? It's a pic of  Daniel just lying around. Why is this pic being shown for a search for giraffe?

I clicked on the pic for a closer look and what I saw blew my mind!

See those little giraffes? Google identified those giraffes as well!

Now I really wanted to test Google's AI and decided to search for something tougher. So I searched for "Porsche". I thought I had confused Google, but again I was pleasantly surprised!

Google managed to pick out each pic with a Porsche in it!

And that too on the basis of that tiny logo! Power of a brand, anyone?

Apart from people and objects, Google also lets you search by place and date as well. Having your phone capture location information in your photos helps.


You can also create albums, animations, videos and collages on your own. These creations can then be shared with friends and relatives through their Google ids or through a link.

It also lets you create themed videos. Go to Assistant > Create New and click on Movie and you get various themes on which you can easily create movies with Google's help. Some of the available themes can be seen in the screenshot below.

For example, if you want to create a Valentine movie you get the option to choose 2 people and Google creates a movie where these 2 people show up together. If you choose "They grow up so fast", you get to choose a baby and Google creates a movie using photos of the baby showing how it has grown over the years.

For these features to work best, it is recommended you have a lot of photos of the chosen subjects on Google Photos. And for that you just need to backup all your photos on Google and Google automatically picks up the relevant ones.


To wrap up this post, Google Photos is one app which really showcases how powerful AI can be. It could also be why Google is allowing you to store unlimited photos. It does give them a test ground for their matching algorithms.

But from a click-happy consumers perspective, Google Photos is one awesome app. And if you click a lot of pics, you should start backing up your pics onto Google Photos as soon as possible.

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