Microsoft’s Fetch! will classify your dog’s breed

Curious, but unable to find out what breed your dog is? There’s an app for that.

Microsoft’s creative lab is at it again with another iOS app showcasing its machine-learning technology, which identifies and distinguishes a dog’s breed, and it can even tell if you’ll be a good match.

Fetch! by Microsoft Garage, is a free app that uses your camera or photo library to classify a dog’s breed. So snap a picture of a dog, and the app will display the closest percentage of what your dog’s breed is — if your dog is a mix, simply tap the percentage and it will describe the top five breeds that could be the dog in the image. You can also hit the arrow on the bottom right to get a general description of the breed, what family the breed is suited for, as well as more pictures.

There’s a scrapbook feature as well, where you can access all your previous pictures.

Of course, the dog breed has to be “supported” by Microsoft’s database — which the company says has been curated by machine intelligence, and by hiring dog experts to verify images of breeds. The artificial intelligence in the app gets better the more you use it, and the Redmond company suggests users leave feedback if their dog breed was wrong, so the app can improve with every image it classifies.

If you take a picture of an object that’s not a dog, the app will say “No dogs found,” but will still offer a guess as to what it is. Pointing it at humans kicks in a “fun mode,” where the app will classify what type of dog you or your friends are, and also why. If it classifies you as a German Shepherd, as long as you use another photo, you won’t get the same result twice.

The app uses a technique called deep neural networks, which identifies the most subtle of differences in images to distinguish the right breed.

“It’s hard work to classify any number of breeds,” said Mitch Goldberg, development director at Microsoft Research, in the blog post announcement. “One of the things about using deep neural networks is that you don’t train it on a particular dog breed. You give it numerous images, and it, in the training process, determines what’s unique in each of the dogs.”

Thankfully, it’s not just restricted to iOS devices. Microsoft has set up a website that offers the same experience as the app, where you can upload photos to distinguish the breed type.

And what better place to try it, than at American Kennel Club’s Meet & Compete, or the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show coming up in the next week. You can grab the app here.


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