Alexa can now tell stories based on the photos you upload

mylestone personal stories for alexa dtdeals amazon echo dot  3
A photographic memory is something few can claim — but soon Amazon’s personal assistant Alexa may be able to remember vivid details from your life, or even a relative’s life. Mylestone, a startup that just landed $2.5 million in funding, is an Alexa app that gives the assistant the ability to tell personal stories from your past, or your family history, based on photos.

Currently, Mylestone feeds Alexa that information based on photos that are uploaded into the system. But, the start-up hopes to eventually allow the platform to link to images shared across social media platforms to automatically add new images for Alexa to retell.

Those images are interpreted using artificial intelligence — and, for now, a team of actual people. The computer uses object recognition as well as facial recognition to identify the objects and people in the images. And like a recent Facebook update that recognizes scenes like the Golden Gate Bridge or the Eiffel Tower, the system also recognizes landmarks. Mylestone staff also help to add the details that artificial intelligence hasn’t learned to pick up on yet.

With that information in the system, users can use commands like “Alexa, tell me a memory about Mom,” and, using those photos, the program will turns images (or, more accurately, series of images) into a story. Aspects like the date, found inside a photograph’s metadata, and objects and people in the scene are turned into a story.

According to the sample stories on the Mylestone website, Alexa can also combine the details in the photos with general, Google-accessible information; for example, by adding a quip about a certain landmark that’s recognized in a scene.

Since the platform can also read audio and video files, users can even ask the system something like, “Alexa, have Grandma tell us the Thanksgiving prayer” and hear specific voices besides Alexa’s pulled from those files.

The program is in its infancy, but the team behind it expects to advance the program using automated uploads tied to social media, as well as by enhancing the capabilities of the artificial intelligence that recognizes the photos.

Mylestone is currently free to enable for Alexa — and users can see how well the program works with their own photos online before deciding whether it’s worth the download.

Product Review

Chris is the virtual co-pilot phone-obsessives need in their car

Driving while using your phone is dangerous, and often illegal. Meet Chris, the digital assistant for your car that wants to help keep your hands off your phone, and your eyes on the road.
Mobile

This is the easiest way to save your iPhone data to your computer

Living in fear of losing your contacts, photos, messages, and notes on your iPhone? Fear no more -- in this guide, we'll break down exactly how to back up your iPhone to your computer using Apple's iTunes or to the cloud with iCloud.
Photography

Looking to keep prying eyes at bay? Here's how to hide photos on your iPhone

People take tons of photos using their smartphones, but not all are meant to be shared or seen. Luckily, hiding photos on your iOS device is easy, whether you want to use built-in utilities or apps with added security.
Product Review

The Division 2 brings the most fun we've ever had to Washington, D.C.

After 55 hours with The Division 2, it’s clear that Ubisoft has improved on the original in almost every way. The world is richly detailed, the story missions are wonderful, gunplay and enemy design are great, and the endgame content is…
Photography

Photography News: Taking a smartphone photo probably saved this guy’s life

A man was snapping a photo in Australia when the smartphone stopped an arrow shot at his face. In this week's photography news, see Canon's plans for a stabilized mirrorless, Hasselblad's newest accessories, Samyang's latest lens, and more.
Deals

The best budget-friendly GoPro alternatives that won’t leave you broke

Cold weather is here, and a good action camera is the perfect way to record all your adventures. You don't need to shell out the big bucks for a GoPro: Check out these great GoPro alternatives, including some 4K cameras, that won’t leave…
Computing

Nvidia’s A.I. Playground lets you edit photos, experience deep learning research

Nvidia is making it easier to access information on deep learning research. It has launched an online space with three demos for image editing, styling, as well as photorealistic image synthesis. 
Photography

Paper designs digitize in real time using an Illustrator-connected paper tablet

Love graphic design, but prefer the feel of real paper? The new Moleskine Paper Tablet - Creative Cloud Connected syncs with Adobe Illustrator in real time, turning paper sketches into digital drawings.
Photography

Insta-checkout? New Instagram service lets you shop without leaving the platform

Shopping on Instagram no longer means leaving the platform to checkout in a web browser. Instagram checkout launched in beta today with a handful of retailers, allowing users to checkout without leaving the app.
Computing

Make the most of your toner with our five favorite color laser printers

Color laser printers have improved dramatically over the years, and today's models offer both blazing print speeds and great image quality. Here are our favorite color laser printers, from massive all-in-ones to smaller budget options.
Photography

Sony’s latest sensor is stacked, backlit, and equipped with a global shutter

Say this five times fast: Backlit, stacked, global shutter sensor. Sony managed to cram all three technologies into one sensor. The result is a high-speed sensor with a higher resolution without sacrificing low-light quality.
Mobile

You can now use the innovative Red Hydrogen One on Google Fi

The Red Hydrogen One was first announced in 2017 and has been delayed a few times since then. Now, the Red Hydrogen One is finally available, featuring a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835, 6GB of RAM, and 128GB of storage.
Cars

Protect yourself and your ride with our favorite dash cams

Dashboard cameras can assist drivers in car accident claims, settle speeding ticket disputes, and even catch glimpses of incoming meteors, among other things. Here, we've compiled a list of the most noteworthy offerings available.
Product Review

What do you do with 187 megapixels? The Lumix S1R is glorious overkill

The Lumix S1R is one of the most capable cameras ever made, from its robust build to extensive feature set. But its key feature, a 187MP high resolution mode, is something few customers will have use for.