ALIPR search photos based on their contents

A pair of Penn State researchers has come up with a statistical approach that may one day make Internet searches for photographs quite easier. The tool they use for this purpose is called Automatic Linguistic Indexing of Pictures in Real-Time (ALIPR).

ALIPR works by teaching computers to recognize the contents of photographs, such as buildings, people, or landscapes, rather than by searching for keywords in the surrounding text, as is done with most current image-retrieval systems.

The public can participate in improving ALIPR’s accuracy by visiting a designated Web site, uploading photographs, and evaluating whether the keywords that ALIPR uses to describe the photographs are appropriate.