A Tool for Life Tivoing: Riya Raves

Harry McCracken, posting from DEMO, is excited about Riya, the photo-sharing site based on face recognition:
This photo sharing/search site does something quite remarkable: It uses artifical intelligence to recognize people by their faces, so it can help you find friends and family in your images.Riya’s bag of tricks is pretty big–besides looking at facial features, it also examines people’s clothing to help recognize individuals in multiple pictures. It does subtle analysis of the timestamps on photos to help it make further intelligent guesses about who’s who. And it also does optical recognition of signs and other text in pictures (if you’re wearing a nametag, it may be able to read it).
McCracken’s post reminded of the conversation the Gillmor Gang had with Riya CEO Mujal Shah in November. I listened to the podcast (in between episodes of Battlestar Galactaca 2.0) whilst flying overnight, so my recollection is not the best. I was most taken with Shah’s story of his visit to South Korea. Like so many others, he returned from Seoul convinced of having seen the future. He surveyed passerby and found that the combination ubiquitous wireless broadband and the prevalence of 2 and 3 megapixel camera founds has resulted in new cultural practices like “photo swarming?and “life tivoing.? I was especially taken with the latter concept: the idea that we are moving to a culture in which we will increasingly rely on technology to augment our memories.
UPDATE: J. Botter has started a Riya fan blog. He has all sorts of inside scoop.

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