Google unveiled some pretty awesomestuff during this year’s I/O developer conference. But perhaps the coolest one is Google Lens, which can be described as a sort of software platform that can basically read text and even identify objects either from an image or through the view of a camera sensor. It then processes whatever it recognizes in real time and of course, tells the user what it has detected. We have all heard about terms such as artificial intelligence and machine learning in the last few years, but it is refreshing to see those principles in action, or at least as demonstrated by Google during its developer conference.
So what is the deal with Google Lens? We humans tend to take the process of visual recognition for granted, mostly because our brains do it so fast and effortlessly that we do not often wonder the specifics of reading a phrase or even recognizing an object or detecting color. For machines, it is mostly baby steps for now, but the good news is that the technology is always getting better, and luckily for us, Google is here to harness that technology to serve information better to people.
The prime purpose of Google Lens is to help users identify objects. When we see a bird, we instantly recognize the object as a type of animal that flies and has feathers and wings. But identifying the exact kind of bird can be tricky, especially for those who are not bird watchers. Google Lens can help users identify that bird species and relay it to the user. And the cool thing is that Google Lens can also identify landmarks (even from photos) as effectively as objects like rocks, trees, cars, etc.
Google also successfully showed show Google Lens can read the name of a Wi-Fi network and then also read the password, and then connect to the Internet automatically, figuring out everything on its own. This indicates that the machine platform is quite capable of multitasking or more accurately, multi-step tasking. Nobody knows how far Google Lens can go in this regard, but it is quite possible that in the very near future, it can help users by connecting automatically to Bluetooth after reading the device’s product number, or when facilitating a purchase transaction and working with Android Pay when scanning a grocery item’s barcode.
Lastly, Google Lens can recognize a specific place -- a store facade perhaps, or a certain building that features a tasty shawarma inside. Of course, the software can also retrieve user reviews for that particular joint, and then notify the user that the pizza is not to be missed (or best avoided).
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