i’ll brt, thanks to easyJet…

Anyone who’s on Instagram has undoubtedly come across a photo and wondered – “where is that, and how do I get there”? Probably on a daily basis. Thanks to easyJet’s new app feature, now you can find out, and book a flight there in a couple of taps.

According to the company – “Simply take a screenshot of a European destination you like the look of and upload it to Look&Book in our app. We’ll then tell you where it is and which flights will get you there.” 

Why it’s hot:

While it’s a great example of turning a ubiquitous behavior into a simple utility, more importantly, it’s another signal that image recognition technology is about to become commonplace.

the camera doesn’t lie, but the algorithm might…

Algorithms fooling algorithms may be one of the most 21st century things to happen yet. But, it did. Researchers at MIT used an algorithm to 3D print versions of a model object, programming them to be recognized as certain other things by Google’s image recognition technology. In short, they fooled Google image recognition into thinking a 3D printed stuffed turtle was a rifle. They also made a 3D printed stuffed baseball appear to be espresso, and a picture of a cat appear to be guacamole. Technology truly is magic.

Their explanation:

“We do this using a new algorithm for reliably producing adversarial examples that cause targeted misclassification under transformations like blur, rotation, zoom, or translation, and we use it to generate both 2D printouts and 3D models that fool a standard neural network at any angle.

It’s actually not just that they’re avoiding correct categorization — they’re classified as a chosen adversarial class, so we could have turned them into anything else if we had wanted to. The rifle and espresso classes were chosen uniformly at random.”

Why it’s hot:
Clearly there are implications for the practicality of image recognition. If they can do this fairly easily in a lab setting, what’s to stop anyone with enough technical savvy from doing this in the real world, perhaps reversing the case and disguising a rifle as a stuffed turtle to get through an artificially intelligent, image recognition technology-driven security checkpoint? Another scary implication mentioned was self-driving cars. It just shows we need much more ethical hacking to plan for and prevent these kind of security concerns.