Maybe you love looking at your friends’ puppy photos on Facebook but don’t know your schnauzers from your dobermans — no need to worry, because Microsoft has your back. Microsoft Garage, the more experimental arm of the tech giant, has created an app called Fetch! that can Identify Dog Breeds in pictures that you upload.
Fetch! uses Microsoft’s Project Oxford technology, which deals with artificial intelligence and machine learning. Essentially, Fetch! learns to identify Dog Breeds by processing loads of dog photos, eventually picking up on the finer points of what distinguishes one breed from the next. The result, in practice, is something like Google’ Reverse Image Search, but instead of returning the file source, you get the dog breed identified.
You shouldn’t be able to trick Fetch!, either. If you upload a picture of a door, a flower, a cat, or anything else non-dog, Fetch! will usually come back telling you that the object photographed is not a dog. It’s also aware of its own limitations — if it can’t conclusively say what breed the dog is, the app will generate the five most likely answers, giving each a percentage of certainty.
But, what happens when you upload a picture of a human? That’s where Fetch! gets fun — the app becomes something like a personality test game, telling you what kind of dog breed it thinks best suits your personality and why. I got doberman, with the traits of, “powerful instinct to protect, intelligent, courageous.” I think the feature needs more work, maybe.
Funny enough, despite coming out of Microsoft, Fetch! is only available for iOS. But, everyone else need not suffer from a lack of vital puppy information — what-dog.net uses the same technology and has the same features on its web app.