26 Nov 2015 Pixolution Testing Keyword Suggestion Services
The visual computing group at HTW Berlin, under the supervision of Prof. Kai-Uwe Barthel, who is also behind the technology of Pixolution and Picsbuffet, have recently launched Akiwi, a semi-automatic keyword suggestion tool.
It’s been out for a while already, but they’ve just released a new and improved version. It is intended to overcome the inaccuracy of fully automated keywording by adding a touch of user interaction. And it’s pretty sweet!
How it Works
The Akiwi website is an open demo of the technology. It could be plugged into any agency, collection or DAM system. The current website uses 22 million images from Fotolia.
By uploading an image, it finds visually similar images from the library and collects the keywords from those matched images. Accuracy can be improved by simply clicking on any of the matched images that are closest to the uploaded sample.
Clarifai has a tool that does the same task, but works differently. It analyses the image itself using machine learning technology and generates the keywords from a fixed list.
The Akiwi method requires a library of already-keyworded images to function, but this can be an advantage, providing the flexibility of working with any controlled vocabulary or unstructured keywords.
Use in Microstock
This functionality will soon be available in the commercial product ‘Pixolution Flow’ enabling to work with their own image sets and specific keyword vocabulary. Microstock agencies could use it to offer a keyword suggestion service to contributors similar to that introduced by Shutterstock in 2013.
The Shutterstock tool is more rudimentary and much less automatic than Akiwi: contributors must surf through images, select similar images to the one they want to keyword, then go through the list of keywords and finally select the relevant ones to be included in their image. Akiwi achieves the same thing with much less user interaction.
Of course very few microstock contributors do their keywording on agency websites, so this tool would be more useful for microstockers as a plugin to Lightroom or similar applications. It could also be a nice add-on for services like picWorkflow, or as a tool to accelerate the keywording process for service providers like picWorkflow again (which also offers a keywording service) and the recently launched Kboarding.
Here’s a demonstration video from Dr Barthel himself showing how it works: