Microsoft is Trying to Make Fetch Happen

Microsoft's Fetch App

Microsoft must be a fan of the movie “Mean Girls,” because the technology company just launched a new mobile app called Fetch.

The app, which is released through Microsoft Garage, can be used to identify and classify dogs by breeds and to tell users what kind of human personality fits best with specific breeds. Plus, just for fun, Microsoft notes that Fetch will even make an informed guess on what kind of dog a person might be.

According to Microsoft, Fetch demonstrates the potential for its researchers continued advances in artificial intelligence, which have appeared through a variety of Microsoft Project Oxford-powered experiences, including the Mimicker Alarm app. With Fetch, however, Project Oxford works together with powerful new machine learning technology to deliver results for all kinds of photos.

“There was an interest in creating a framework that would allow you to take a domain – in our case, dogs – and recognize numerous classes, such as breeds. We were interested in enabling an app to allow you to make object recognition extraordinary, fun and surprising,” said Mitch Goldberg, a development director at Microsoft Research whose Cambridge, U.K based team built the experience. “We wanted to bring artificial intelligence to the canine world. We wanted to show that object recognition is something anyone could understand and interact with.”

It is important to note that Fetch provides users with a percentage of the closest breed for the images that they upload. By tapping the percentage, users can view five other breeds that the dog could be. What’s more, clicking on the arrow in the corner leads users to more information about each breed.

In addition to identifying the subject matter of images, Fetch offers a scrapbook where users can keep track of their photos and results. Plus, the app offers a list of breeds with information such as disposition, size, coat and what type of family the breed is best suited for. According to Microsoft, its team consults several dog experts and kennel clubs to curate and update information about dog breeds.

Users should know that there is also a feedback feature within the app, so if Fetch’s results are inaccurate users can send Microsoft that information. This helps the company improve the app over time.

Fetch is currently available to download for free in the Apple App Store.

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