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Riya: Google answer to Yahoo Flickr

Google likely to acquire Riya for $40 mn

Riya, an online photo service that can automatically recognise human faces and tag it with names, is being courted by Google for a potential acquisition even during its beta stage. Riya could be Google’s response to Yahoo’s acquisition of Flickr, which also uses tags to organize photos.

Riya from GoogleRiya’s service, which makes use of artificial intelligence and face-recognition technology, is supposedly superior to Flickr’s.

This is one step ahead of other services like Flickr and Picasa, another Google service. The Riya software can distinguish between twins (even if the resemblance is extreme) and recognise members of the same family.

Munjal explains how the Riya photo recognitions system actually works:
The Riya system only looks for people you train it to recognize (with one exception I'll describe later). So if you can't identify a person yourself then it won't recognize that person. Furthermore, the Riya system only looks for the people who you have trained in your account. So even if another user has trained us on Brad Pitt and he is in your photos, he won't get recognized in your photos.
If your ten friends use Riya to auto-tag their photos then you can search for your name and find those photos (and see them if they are public). In this case Riya has already locally auto-tagged each photo and is only doing a tag/text search at a global level.