Pholio tests out tech, finds famous faces in artwork

Pholio tests out tech, finds famous faces in artwork

A new intelligent photo album platform has trained its search technology by looking for celebrity lookalikes in one of the world’s largest photographic collections of art images based at Somerset House in London. 

The Witt Library (part of The Courtauld Institute) holds a collection of western art, covering the period 1200 to the present day. The inventors of Pholio have incorporated more than 20,000 search terms into the new device. This uses artificial intelligence to search through millions of images and recognise patterns instantly. The firm has worked with the Witt Collection to automatically index their image collection. Pholio examines images added to the device and automatically finds and understands patterns. Once it has been taught to recognise a unique face or thousands of other objects, it will find any close similarities in any collection.

Among the lookalikes found in the Courtauld’s ‘family album’ are Cher, Donald Trump, Simon Cowell, Paul Hollywood, Richard Branson and founder Simon Randall. Randall says: “When we tested the search capabilities out on the Courtauld Collection, we were absolutely amazed at the speed and the accuracy of what we’d created. When I spotted my own ‘relative’ from the collection, my jaw dropped. There is an urban myth that Nicholas Cage is a vampire based on an old archive photo.  When my wife saw the picture of me, she insisted on sleeping with the light on. Most of us have tens of thousands of pictures these days thanks to smartphones. Keeping track of what we have and hunting down the thing we are looking for is now an instantaneous exercise. Pholio means no more laborious scrolling through thousands of pics.”

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