“Fetch!” It’s a common word for most dog lovers and enthusiasts that has just taken on a whole new meaning thanks to Microsoft. The tech giant has released a new app titled Fetch!, that can identify dog breeds by looking at photos. As an added twist, the app also has a hidden feature where it can look at a picture of a friend and tell you what type of dog it thinks that person is.
Fetch!, which is now available on the Apple App Store, is the latest in a series of projects by Microsoft meant to highlight the potential of machine learning. In this case, it is the ability to look at an image and determine its contents.
Despite the app’s seemingly straightforward function, it does have a few glitches. For example, if the dog being identified is a mixed breed or a mutt, Fetch! has a difficult time getting the reading correct. Also, if the photo of the dog given to the app to analyze is not perfectly framed or lit, then it may have trouble making an accurate guess.
Despite its shortcomings, Fetch! is a fun and user-friendly app for any dog or animal lover. It also serves to educate mainstream users on the complexities of machine learning. It will be interesting to see what similar programs Microsoft develops in the future…perhaps a Fetch!-type app for cats?