Imagga Featured Hack: Automatically Finding Weapons in Social Media Images

Weapon Detection Imagga

Weapons are controversial topic, especially in zones of conflict. A lot of photos of people holding weapons are posted daily in social media. Analyzing the concentration and the motives for posting this kind of photos can eventually hint to a trend or some potential problems.

In a recent post Justin Seitz showcases a simple hack for discovering photos of weapons on social media using Imagga’s image recognition API. Not all photos of people with weapons are being detected by our general tagging API, but there’s a simple explanation behind that – the API hasn’t been specifically trained for that task. Still, it’s quite amazing we are detecting various types of weapons in different context.

Applications of this are numerous: detecting concentration of weapon related photos and possible militarization in certain area, unauthorized/hazardous use of weapons, including by children to name a few.

Justin has also managed to improve the results by cropping some of the images in advance, so they are more concentrated on the eventual weapon. In the upcoming updates of our API this will be solved even better – we are releasing positional tagging of objects soon and besides having the actual position this will also improve the object-level recognition, stay tuned!

In addition to the very interesting use-case Justin’s article is a great practical guide on how to use the Imagga’s auto-tagging API so make sure to check it out.

2015 Recap: Growth

2015 is over and it’s time to do a recap of the year and remember the good and the bad. It was a joyful and at the same time a challenging year, but there is one word that resonates in everyone from the Imagga family – GROWTH.

#1 Self-service Cloud API Growth

Imagga Team 2015

It’s been amazing to see our self-service cloud API customer base grow significantly. Lots of exciting practical applications were developed using Imagga API, but we also saw some really cool and funny apps developed with our tagging technology – application that recognizes hipsters and only lets them into a bar, automated sorting of hotel images, powerful user profiling to empower smart car selection process and many, many more.

#2 Big Enterprise Customers in US, EU and Asia

KIA Imagga API

It’s a different sales channel but the same amazing image recognition technology that helped our enterprise clients better serve their customers. Can’t be more grateful for the trust and the opportunity to work and learn together.

#3 Great Image Recognition Technology Advancement

Language support Imagga Image Recogniton

We worked hard to make the automated image tagging technology more precise and reliable – now we can recognize more objects and concepts and are quite good at it. Scaling up the API to virtually any load that needs to be handled was a major milestone to make sure we can meet our enterprise customers’ demands. Video tagging is in beta and we are excited to mature it with the help of couple of committed customers in the upcoming months. Offering custom training for automated image categorization was another major milestone that we nailed in 2015. Recently we added the first versions of our multi-language support.

#4 Team & Advisors

Imagga Team Bulding Pool

We’ve put lots of efforts into building up the AI knowledge and motivation of the team. It’s been awesome to add the first female member and we’ll definitely grow that number next year. Team building retreat in the mountains and playing bowling regularly was great fun. LAUNCHub, our current investor and Vassil Terziev, angel investor and founder of Telerik were vivid supporters and precious advisors on product and business strategy decisions.

#5 Events, Hackathons, Startup Competitions
Georgi Kadrev getting Tech for Big Players Award from HM Felipe VI, King of Spain

Georgi Kadrev getting Tech for Big Players Award from HM Felipe VI, King of Spain

Being part of the startup community locally in Sofia, as part of the greater European startup family, is awesome experience. This summer we started Machine Learning meetups in Sofia and plan to grow the event in the next year. We’ve also supported multiple hackathons by providing cool prizes and access to the Imagga image recognition API.

We exhibited at the NVIDIA’s GPU Tech conference in April and met lots of partners and customers there. We are selected to present in the 2016 edition of the same conference in April and will be happy to meet there and tell you about the exciting business applications of machine learning for image recognition and some of the technical challenges we’ve solved along the way.

Winning South Summit’s award for best startup in the Technology for Big Players category in October was a great recognition for us. Our CEO Georgi had the honour to get the award personally from HM Felipe VI, King of Spain.

Imagga has also been selected as one of the winners of the Balkan Venture Forum in Belgrade, Serbia & The World Summit Award by UN.

In the beginning of December we were selected as one of the 7 companies to take part into inaugural growth program of Google Campus Warsaw – valuable experience with lots of new contacts from the European VC and startup community.

#6 Partnerships & Networking

aylien magga partnership

Big part of our strategy to spread the word about the awesome image recognition technology we’ve developed and make it even more accessible to developers all over the world is through partnerships. We’ve added three more during 2015 – Automatic image categorization and tagging with Imagga, AYLIEN and OntoText S4 and are quite excited to help them serve better their clients by adding advanced image categorization and tagging to the range of services they offer.

We’ve also become part of EIT ICT Future Cloud family of companies and this opens up lots of new opportunities for business development in Europe and the US.

#7 Break-even

Break even

Somebody has said that the best investors in your company are actually your customers. It’s amazing to see so many developers, businesses and enterprises trust Imagga’s API and use it to do things unimaginable before. They help us to reach break-even and continue to grow the company organically.

We are ready to jump into 2016 with lots of things in the pipeline:

  • Major update of the technology – in terms of both precision and capabilities. Stay tuned!
  • Improvements of our web platform, including our API documentation, tutorials and onboarding tools
  • Discovering new verticals and helping even more developers and business to make great use of our image recognition API.

If you haven’t tried our APIs yet, make sure to sign up for Imagga

Can The Machine Beat Humans in Image Recognition

Clash of Tags - image recognition vs humans

For far too long image understanding has been considered too complex for the machines to deal with. It takes years of training for the human brain to build links between the visible and connect it to concepts of shapes, colors and objects. Even though neural networks were invented couple of decades ago and were considered huge step into machine AI, what lacked was computing power. With the advance of GPU computing, new opportunities were discovered, algorithms were reinvented so machine and deep learning are back on the table.

The machines are powerful enough now to grasp the world almost as good as a 3 years old kid. A prerequisite for neural network to work well is a clear, representative data that will make the outcome results more precise and accurate. Huge efforts to collect and classify the images of the world were undertaken in the last couple of years. Are the machines ready for a battle then?

At Imagga we take that challenge seriously by building an intelligent image recognition technology that can teach the machine to understand basic daily life objects, comprehend concepts and eventually deal with complex pictures, where lots of background information needs to be taken into account in order to be interpreted properly. It’s challenging task but we love what we do.

With that stated, we are ready to set the stage for an epic battle, the battle of the century – machines vs humans. To some it might sound funny, unrealistic, pretentious, but it’s coming. At least now in a form of a cool game, done with love by Imagga and Algolia.

We’ve called it Human vs. Robot: Chash Of The Image Tags. You will be taking central role of judging who tags better – the human or the machine.  You will be presented two sets of images for a given text tag and need to vote for the set that better represents the concept of the text tag. As every good judges you will need to be unbiased and make up your mind only on the facts, so you will not know which set was tagged by humans or respectively by machines. You will get five rounds to decide and pronounce a winner. Of course you can play as many times as you wish, and even invite your friends to try it out and have fun.

The game is made possible by the joined efforts of Algolia and Imagga. Algolia is building powerful search technology for exploration of large data sets. Algolia’s hosted search API delivers instant and relevant results as you type your search query. Imagga’s part is to provide the automated machine tagging of all the images you will be seeing in the search results.

It might be just a game, but the real idea is to demonstrate how powerful machine recognition is nowadays. It can really replace or at least greatly assist people in the process of tagging photos – it’s much faster, more cost effective, most of the time – more consistent and even more precise than human tagging. This empowers a lot of use-cases in stock photography, digital asset management, advertising, cloud storage and photo sharing that are otherwise not feasible or even not possible with human tagging.

Why don’t you play and judge for yourself Clash of the image tags!

Batch Image Processing from local folder using Imagga API

Batch Upload of Photos for Image Recognition

This blog post is part of series on How-Tos for those of you who are not quite experienced and need a bit of help to set up and use properly our powerful image recognition APIs.

In this one we will help you to batch process (using our Tagging or Color extraction API) a whole folder of photos, that reside on your local computer. To make that possible we’ve written a short script in the programming language Python: https://bitbucket.org/snippets/imaggateam/LL6dd

Feel free to reuse or modify it. Here’s a short explanation what it does. The script requires the Python package, which you can install using this guide.

It uses requests’ HTTPBasicAuth to initialize a Basic authentication used in Imagga’s API from a given API_KEY and API_SECRET which you have to manually set in the first lines of the script.

There are three main functions in the script – upload_image, tag_image, extract_colors.

    • upload_image(image_path) – uploads your file to our API using the content endpoint, the argument image_path is the path to the file in your local file system. The function returns the content id associated with the image.
  • tag_image(image, content_id=False, verbose=False, language=’en’) – the function tags a given image using Imagga’s Tagging API. You can provide an image url or a content id (from upload_image) to the ‘image’ argument but you will also have to set content_id=True. By setting the verbose argument to True, the returned tags will also contain their origin (whether it is coming from machine learning recognition or from additional analysis). The last parameter is ‘language’ if you want your output tags to be translated in one of Imagga’s supported 50 (+1) languages. You can find the supported languages from here – http://docs.imagga.com/#auto-tagging
  • extract_colors(image, content_id=False) – using this function you can extract colors from your image using our Color Extraction API. Just like the tag_image function, you can provide an image URL or a content id (by also setting content_id argument to True).

Script usage:

Note: You need to install the Python package requests in order to use the script. You can find installation notes here.

You have to manually set the API_KEY and API_SECRET variables found in the first lines of the script by replacing YOUR_API_KEY and YOUR_API_SECRET with your API key and secret.

Usage (in your terminal or CMD):

python tag_images.py <input_folder> <output_folder> –language=<language> –verbose=<verbose> –merged-output=<merged_output> –include-colors=<include_colors>

The script has two required – <input_folder>, <output_folder> and four optional arguments – <language>, <verbose>, <merged_output>, <include_colors>.

  • <input_folder> – required, the input folder containing the images you would like to tag.
  • <output_folder> – required, the output folder where the tagging JSON response will be saved.
  • <language>optional, default: en, the output tags will be translated in the given language (a list of supported languages can be found here: http://docs.imagga.com/#auto-tagging)
  • <verbose>optional, default: False, if True the output tags will contain an origin key (whether it is coming from machine learning recognition or from additional analysis)
  • <include_colors>optional, default: False, if True the output will also contain color extraction results for each image.
  • <merged_output>optional, default: False, if True the output will be merged in a JSON single file, otherwise – separate JSON files for each image.

Multi Language Support – Imagga API

Language support Imagga Image Recogniton

We are happy to announce we are adding 50 languages (still in beta) to Imagga Auto-tagging and Categorization APIs. The tags/categories that the powerful Imagga image recognition API returns now speak your language.  All you need to do is to add the language parameter with corresponding language code you want the results to be displayed in. You can even add multiple languages (for example &language=de&language=fr).

Currently there are 50 languages supported with the following language codes: ar (Arabic), bg (Bulgarian), bs (Bosnian), ca (Catalan), cs (Czech), cy (Welsh), da (Danish), de (German), el (Greek), es (Spanish), et (Estonian), fa (Persian), fi (Finnish), fr (French), he (Hebrew), hi (Hindi), hr (Croatian), ht (Haitian Creole), hu (Hungarian), id (Indonesian), it (Italian), ja (Japanese), ko (Korean), lt (Lithuanian), lv (Latvian), ms (Malay), mt (Maltese), mww (Hmong Daw), nl (Dutch), no (Norwegian), otq (Querétaroo Otomi), pl (Polish), pt (Portuguese), ro (Romanian), ru (Russian), sk Slovak), sv (Swedish), sl (Slovenian), sr_cyrl (Serbian – Cyrillic), sr_latn (Serbian – Latin), th (Thai), tlh (Klingon), tlh_qaak (Klingon (pIqaD)), tr (Turkish), uk (Ukrainian), ur (Urdu), vi (Vietnamese), yua (Yucatec Maya), zh_chs (Chinese Simplified), zh_cht (Chinese Traditional)

Find out how to implement in Imagga API Docs.

You can see how auto-tagging and the language support works live on our demo page.

Not finding yours in the supported languages list? Talk to us.

 

Analyzing Text and Images: Webinar

Webinar S4 Imagga

Happy to announce an upcoming webinar together with our platform partners Ontotext. The webinar on Self-Service Semantic Suite (S4) will take place on Nov 12th (11am ET / 8am PT / 4pm GMT) featuring Ontotext CTO, Marin Dimitrov as well as a guest speaker Georgi Kadrev, CEO of Imagga.

S4 provides on demand access to text mining and linked open data technology in the cloud. Using the platform you can quickly and easily build smart data prototypes at a fraction of the cost of enterprise solutions.

Georgi (@imagga) of Imagga will be covering the newly available image analytics capabilities into  Ontotext’s Self-Service Semantic Suite (S4) platform. Thanks to powerful Imagga auto tagging & categorization API, S4 users will get more insights not just from the text but also from images on the web pages they need to analyze.

Marin (@marin_dim) from Ontotext will be covering some new exciting features of Ontotext Semantic Suite as improvements of the RDF graph database-as-a-service, new Python SDK for S4 as well as Product roadmap and new features currently in development.

Don’t miss the opportunity to learn about the Self-Service Semantic Suite (S4) – register for this event now!

 

Imagga among the 40 winners of UN-based World Summit Award 2015

Imagga @ World Summit Award

Imagga was selected as one of the winners of the World Summit Award, a global initiative in cooperation of the United Nations World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) and UNESCO, UNIDO and UN GAID. WSA is the only ICT event worldwide, that reaches the mobile community in over 178 countries.

Imagga Image Recognition PaaS will be honored to receive the Award in e-Media & Journalism category in front of UN representatives, ICT ministries and the private sector at the World Summit Global Congress in Shenzhen, China, in February 2016.

“It’s extremely exciting to see two Bulgarian companies – Imagga (e-Media & Journalism category) and Bee Smart (e-Health and Environment category) as finalists of the World Summit Award 2015. Having two winning teams happens for the first time since Bulgaria participates in the prestigious award”, states Pavel Vurbanov, European Software Institute – Center Eastern Europe.

The 40 winners representing 24 countries were carefully selected from 386 nominations. The goal of the award is to showcase the world’s best practices in digital innovation – from Japan to Brazil and from Norway to Australia.

The WSA winners were selected by a jury of international ICT experts in two democratic rounds. Each UN Member State is eligible to nominate one product per category for the World Summit Award. This way any nomination results from a national pre-selection prior to the international WSA Jury.

Imagga Gets Big Players Award by HM King of Spain at South Summit 2015

Georgi Kadrev getting Tech for Big Players Award from HM Felipe VI, King of Spain

Georgi Kadrev getting Tech for Big Players Award from HM Felipe VI, King of Spain

Imagga was honored to get Tech for Big Players Award at South Summit 2015, that took place in Madrid, Spain. At the closing day HM Felipe VI, King of Spain himself awarded the finalists of the startup competition at the event and spent some time to talk with the winning companies. Out of the four startups being recognized at the event, Imagga is the only company that doesn’t come from Spanish speaking country.

South Summit is the leading entrepreneurship event for the Spanish speaking world. Over 12,500 participants, 100 startups, 650  investors, 325 journalists и 275 speakers took place in the forum, held in the historic Las Ventas building – build in the beginning of 20 century and home of the famous bull fights. Special guest of the event was Steve Wozniak, co-founder of Apple together with Steve Jobs.

Imagga was one of the 100 carefully selected startups from 15 countries (3 companies in total from Bulgaria) and we competed in Tech for Big Players category (the other categories were; digital solutions for the mass market, healthcare and biotech, industrial revolution)

“Being able to stand and pitch on the very same arena famous for bullfighting actually raised the adrenalin and made the experience quite unique. It was great opportunity to meet fellow entrepreneurs, talk image recognition and AI, currently quite hot trends, and talk to investors and media”, shares Georgi Kadrev, co-founder and CEO of Imagga.

 

Imagga’s automated tagging is getting traction and we see great use cases and lots of business opportunities. South Summit opened up a new world of possibilities as we’ve never been that much focused on the Spanish speaking world, but we see it’s big and interesting.

“I took some time to contemplate why I like this tree as a prize that much – it’s not just because it was given by His Majesty the King of Spain and is the symbol of Madrid, but also as it is a very beautiful metaphor – it has been planted some time ago, and it took a while before it shows up above the ground. Now it’s grown but it’s still small and it still needs care until it grows and give some sweet fruits. I believe it’s the same with our Imagga.”, shares Georgi Kadrev

Being part of SouthSummit was fun and very rewarding. Thanks for inspiring us and at the same time acknowledging our efforts to democratize image recognition and make it useful for great variety of business use cases.

Imagga at Hack The Visual

Hack the Visual event in London. Shot for Canon Europe Ltd.

Hack the Visual event in London. Shot for Canon Europe Ltd.

During the last couple years we’ve been taking part in numerous hackathons and events. Hack The Visual was perfect fit for what we do at Imagga. The goal of the event is to connect different types of visual data to each other and create new and interesting prospective. All data is welcomed – pictures, music, video, geo-data, even open data, you name it. In just 48 hours over 100 participants were hacking on projects mashing existing APIs and data sets to find a solution for a real life visual problem.

The main challenge was to bring together photos, videos and other kind of imagery with hardware, interfaces, platforms, apps & services in order to unlock the next step in visual culture.

Tree main tracks have been set based on research by Imaging Mind (organizer of the event) regarding the future of imaging:

  • meshed capture – connecting multiple camera sources to generate new experiences. Winner: Camera Crowd – combining multiple photos and their location data with a photo of the area you are. A mesh of pictures from different sources blended into the space
  • new perspectives/interpretation of images – accessing various image data sets to extract value from them outside of the image itself. Winner: Hear The Picture – by linking each coloured pixel to its individual sound, a photo could be ‘heard’ through its own distinctive soundtrack
  • interactive visuals – reworking the static images into interactive new experience. Winner: Sharon – watch the same video source with multiple people, and allow synced manipulation of the video

Grand Prize went to Splatmap – web application that allows you to photograph buildings with your smartphone and plot the information into the application.

Hack the Visual event in London. Shot for Canon Europe Ltd.

The special Imagga API prize went to Remember – app that triggers your memories using your own photo collection. Re/Visit a place and Remember will remind you of pictures you or someone else snapped nearby. It can also search for relevant photos based on the topics in the photo (using Imagga’s image recognition tagging API), turning your photo library into a smart conversation starter wherever you might be.

Overall, great event! See you next time. And do not forget to give Imagga APIs a try!

Machine Learning Meetup in Sofia

ML Meetup Sofia

Three year ago when we publicly talked about machine learning, deep learning, convolutional neural networks and AI not many people were getting it. It was hard to explain what all this is about. Things have changed, and for good.

Last week we’ve invited a bunch of people to Machine Learning meetup. The first in Sofia. 60 people attended and it was awesome. It’s awesome to see so many people interested in AI and machine learning. And they were getting it. We are sure machine learning will be widely adopted in many tech verticals  in an year or so and are proud to be helping Bulgarian AI/ML community to exchange ideas and grow.

Judging by the number of people and cases that has been discussed, lots of startups are already exploring the power of machine learning in various industries – e-commerce, bitcoin landing, real estate, to mention few. It’s still the early days of ML community in Sofia, so we’ve started with some basics. Judging by the variety of the questions after our short intro presentation, next editions of Sofia Machine Learning Meetup will be quite geeky and interesting.