eBay announces computer vision search that helps you find items using photos

eBay announces computer vision search that helps you find items using photos. With artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning seemingly permeating just about every facet of the online world, it comes as little surprise to learn that eBay has some similar tricks up its proverbial sleeves. Image Search & Find it on eBay Computer vision enables machines to “understand” images by processing and analyzing them on a pixel-by-pixel basis, rather than leaning on human-generated categorization data, such as keywords and descriptions. Using Image Search, eBay said that you will be able to snap a photo of a real-world object and use it to find similar items on eBay. Needless to say, it won’t always be accurate — if you take a photo of a unique chair in your local cafe, for example, chances are eBay will just find you a bunch of chairs that look roughly like it. “Moments of shopping inspiration can come at any time, whether you’re walking down the street or browsing your social media feed,” said Mohan Patt, vice president of buyer experience at eBay. These new features come hot on the heels of a number of moves made by eBay to expand its AI capabilities — last may it bought out machine learning company ExpertMaker, then a few months later it snapped up computer-vision company Corrigon. Using computer vision, it was possible to find far more relevant alternatives. As for eBay, the company said that many of the AI and machine learning technologies that power its new image search features are “already embedded across the eBay experience,” designed to make its catalog of more than one-billion items easier to sift through. “It’s machine learning and AI at the very simplest level, and we’ve seen a tremendous amount of return on investment on that,” noted Japjit Tulsi, VP of engineering at eBay, in an interview with VentureBeat earlier this month.

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With artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning seemingly permeating just about every facet of the online world, it comes as little surprise to learn that eBay has some similar tricks up its proverbial sleeves.

The ecommerce juggernaut has announced two new computer vision features that are coming to its online shopping emporium this fall.

Image Search & Find it on eBay

Computer vision enables machines to “understand” images by processing and analyzing them on a pixel-by-pixel basis, rather than leaning on human-generated categorization data, such as keywords and descriptions.

Using Image Search, eBay said that you will be able to snap a photo of a real-world object and use it to find similar items on eBay. Similarly, the company is also rolling out Find it on eBay, which allows you to tap items on any other website — for example on a blog or on Pinterest — and find them to buy through sharing the URL with eBay.

Needless to say, it won’t always be accurate — if you take a photo of a unique chair in your local cafe, for example, chances are eBay will just find you a bunch of chairs that look roughly like it. But it will add an interesting extra dimension to eBay’s search function — it’s not always easy to find what you’re looking for using descriptive keywords.

“Moments of shopping inspiration can come at any time, whether you’re walking down the street or browsing your social media feed,” said Mohan Patt, vice president of buyer experience at eBay. “At eBay, we’re focused on creating new complementary technology that helps our millions of shoppers easily find the things they love at the best…

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