How many words is a picture worth?

 

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The Independent Tech

Progress is a wonderful thing. Once you might have taken photographs and shown them to family or shared them on Facebook. The Descriptive Camera, however, the latest in prototype design, doesn't give you a picture, instead it gives you a description of what is in the frame.

The camera is the brainchild of Matt Richardson, who describes himself among other things as "a technophile" and "maker of things". After lining up the photo and taking the picture, the user waits before a brief description is printed out.

"Looks like a cupboard which is ugly and old, has name plates on it with a study lamp attached to it," reads one.

Rather than a sign of a new and terrifyingly opinionated era in affordable Artificial Intelligence, the $200 camera's abilities come from online behemoth Amazon's Mechanical Turk programme. Each picture is sent to a worker who carries out a Human Intelligence Task and provides a brief description, at a cost of about 77p, roughly the same cost as a Polaroid picture.

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