Welcome to my blog. I write about fitting in, sticking out, and missing the motherland as a serial foreigner.

Adventures with Picasa face-recognition

Picasa 3 now has face-recognition functionality. Not only is this new feature extremely useful, it also is good for a few laughs. There's the way it mistakes one child for another, like mixing up pictures of Miriam when she was younger with current pictures of Magdalena. Or how it has an uncanny ability to group families together, like when it sorted an entire branch of Miriam's cousins under one name.

Then there's the way it sneaks in über-freaky photos of complete strangers into your daughter's photo group:

Take a closer look. Notice anything amiss? I'll give you a hint: ONE OF THESE THINGS IS NOT LIKE THE OTHERS.

I don't know who that woman is, or why she is lurking creepily in the background of one of my photos, but she is not Miriam.

It turns out she was in the background of this picture:
Phew! Mystery solved.

Picasa's ability to sift out every face from every picture background can be unsettlingly impressive at times. Here's what it pulled from a photo I took yesterday at the Ithaca Apple Festival (blog post to come):
I never would have taken a second glance at those people. I didn't even notice them in the background of the picture I took. But there they are, foisted upon me, forever immortalized in my Picasa photo album (except I can delete them if I want to).

I ended up adding the matryoshka doll that sits on our piano as its own person because Picasa kept identifying its face in the background and asking who it was.

As you can see, the good times to be had are endless. Has anyone else had a chance to play with this function yet?

Autumn in Ithaca

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