Facebook
show image

Facebook uses Artificial Intelligence to prove dog people are nicer than cat people

It’s taken a wee for the annual summer ‘silly season’ to arrive, but finally there’s something to smile about (if you’re a dog person, that is).

Facebook has used the same object recognition technology it’s been developing to help blind people ‘see’ images shared online to find out if dog and cat lovers really are different.

It gathered and anonymised the data of around 160,000 users in the US who shared pet pictures on Facebook, using object recognition to identify if the images were of cats or dogs.

It then crunched the numbers on the associated profile data and found dog lovers have more friends, are less likely to be single and are even more likely to go outside (okay, perhaps that last one makes sense, you don’t walk your cat).

The ‘crazy cat lady’ stereotype didn’t play out, though, as feline friends were more likely than dog owners to be single no matter their age or gender.

Facebook has been training its AI – based on a brain-like neural network – to identify images, then generate automatic alternative text that describes the picture.

It first went live back in April for blind or partially-sighted people using screen readers on iOS and set to English, but it intends to release the tech for new languages and platforms soon.

“While this technology is still nascent, tapping its current capabilities to describe photos is an important step toward providing our visually impaired community the same benefits and enjoyment that everyone else gets from photos,” the company said.