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New Google image labeler
Look what google is up to...

 7:38 pm on Sep 1, 2006 (gmt 0)

Using people to label images. [images.google.com...]

How does it work?
You'll be randomly paired with a partner who's online and using the feature. Over a 90-second period, you and your partner will be shown the same set of images and asked to provide as many labels as possible to describe each image you see. When your label matches your partner's label, you'll earn some points and move on to the next image until time runs out. After time expires, you can explore the images you've seen and the websites where those images were found. And we'll show you the points you've earned throughout the session.

<edit reason: limit on length of quotes.
See Terms of Service [webmasterworld.com]

[edited by: tedster at 8:01 pm (utc) on Sep. 1, 2006]



 7:56 pm on Sep 4, 2006 (gmt 0)

Neat game, and gimmick, but I'm having a problem completing games. A lot of rounds it's like after a few seconds my partner has bailed, as if there are a lot of people playing for high points and as soon as they fall behind they bail by hitting the back button to do a reset. It's a big turnoff when there is no more input coming in from the other side. Google, where's my cheese?

Also a match apparently has to be exact, which rewards generic tags over more specific ones. For example I got a picture of Pope Benedict XVI but it was only when I finally got around to trying "pope" did I score a match, even though I'd included the word "pope" in earlier attempts. So if you actually recognize the specifics of a picture as I did in several cases you're probably at a disadvantage. Google still gets the benefit of my input but once again I don't get the cheese.


 7:58 pm on Sep 4, 2006 (gmt 0)

This is ultra-addictive.

A brilliant way to help test the accuracy of their image search if you ask me.


 8:19 pm on Sep 4, 2006 (gmt 0)

this is gargabe imo. Most people use general words like person, people, group, man, boy, girl etc.


 8:56 pm on Sep 4, 2006 (gmt 0)

So I just spent an hour tagging images for Google in order to earn meaningless arbitrary points which somehow feel rewarding.

Good job Google...you just got me to donate an hour of my time to you and will probably be back for more. This is genius!


 10:23 pm on Sep 4, 2006 (gmt 0)

Am I reading it right? There are people there who have accumulated scores of well over 1 million - more than 14,000 labels. Unbelieveable.


 10:37 pm on Sep 4, 2006 (gmt 0)

From my "lazy person point of view"
Why don't they just make suggestions and I click the right choices – Tetris style?

P.S. They can make a “learn how to type” game out of this – this way they get their answers and I would eventually learn how to type :c)


 11:25 pm on Sep 4, 2006 (gmt 0)

isn't this called del.icio.us?


 11:47 pm on Sep 4, 2006 (gmt 0)

Ok, its a game.

Here's how we test the weakness of it, and the strength of WebmasterWorld.

The only "news story" about this in Google results is one listed as appearing 32 minutes ago in ITnews;

"...Building a database using information provided by volunteers has its risks: campaign groups or pranksters might influence or pollute the raw data by associating an insulting term with the image of a political candidate..."


If we all play from 10:00pm -10:15pm (EST), and use the label "snark pic" for every picture, we'll know if we are playing with someone else who read this post, and how easy it is to beat.

I am sure G will appreciate us "contributing" the testing.


 11:54 pm on Sep 4, 2006 (gmt 0)

Just fyi, this idea isn't new, it's been around since 2003, so basically it looks like Google ripped it off.

ESP Game
The ESP Game is a two-player game. Each time you play you are randomly paired with another player whose identity you don't know. You can't communicate with your partner, and the only thing you have in common with them is that you can both see the same image. The goal is to guess what your partner is typing on each image. Once you both type the same word(s), you get a new image.

also see: [web.archive.org...]

Yet another Google rip-off idea.


 12:41 am on Sep 5, 2006 (gmt 0)

Hey Google hater: They never said it was original work. Here's what it clearly says at the top of their "About Image Labeler" page: "Google Image Labeler is based in part on technology licensed from and developed at Carnegie Mellon University."

I'll leave it to others to worry about whether the "ESP Game" predates Carnegie Mellon's implementation or not, or whether it makes any difference either way.


 2:23 am on Sep 5, 2006 (gmt 0)

If they plan to use the collected data to actually label the images, it is a horrible idea.

I tried the game, and have considered self administered prefrontal lobotomy with a broken plastic spoon.


 3:49 am on Sep 5, 2006 (gmt 0)


Google Tech Talk video with the guy, Luis von Ahn, who came up with the ESP game. His lecture goes into some detail about how the ESP works and he also describes two other games.


 4:33 am on Sep 5, 2006 (gmt 0)

good job Brett --

did anyone notice their WebmasterWorld nick gets them logged in as such?

anyone got privacy concerns about how this was integrated with WebmasterWorld?

next time, please give us fair warning and let us have a choice.

...somehow my gmail account (which includes sitemap and adwords) appeaers to be now associated with my 'anonymous' nick here.

good thing I'm not trying to hide anything!



 5:12 am on Sep 5, 2006 (gmt 0)

chowmein - nice call on the video clip.

I played it earlier and it worked fine, just tried it now and game appears broken --- long delays to get a partner, (even though it supposedly has an AI mode that lets you play a two player game and defy the time space continuem even of there are no other players), game doesn't quit after both players agree to pass, (clock continues to tick after passing - does not move to next image)... wassup?

I deleted cookies and reloaded browser to make sure it wasn't holding a grudge against me for earlier comments --- I'll try this;

Google is great,
Google is Great,
Google is Great

...now can I play more?


 11:04 am on Sep 5, 2006 (gmt 0)

> did anyone notice their WebmasterWorld nick gets them logged in as such?

You are mistaken. We have nothing to do with Google services. If you have the same nick there - you gave it to them somehow - we sure didn't.


 12:42 pm on Sep 5, 2006 (gmt 0)

this is for the google AI, so you can show it a picture of a mug and google will tell you its, 'a mug'.

or they will make a robot that can go into a room and tell you what items are in that room in seconds.

this will help them with search too, googlebot visits a webpage and automatically knows what images are used on a webpage. no more making up ALT tags.

plus it will help desktop search, users searching for a 'dog' photo on their desktop will be able to find just that with the help of google's image recognition.


 2:16 pm on Sep 5, 2006 (gmt 0)

If we all play from 10:00pm -10:15pm (EST), and use the label "snark pic" for every picture, we'll know if we are playing with someone else who read this post, and how easy it is to beat.

Well I tried but didn't find anyone else.


 4:25 pm on Sep 5, 2006 (gmt 0)

Most people use general words like person, people, group, man, boy, girl etc.

The system will automatically add words to the "off-limit" list. I've seen the same image (a particularly difficult one to label) come up in rotation three times with a different set of "off-limit" words. Each time it's clear that the system is getting the same results over and over again and is trying to force varied input.

I'm sure the "off-limit" list is also used to accomplish other goals, but it's clear it can solve the problem of everyone using the same generic keywords easily.


 9:27 pm on Sep 5, 2006 (gmt 0)

The attempt to use "snark pic" was useless...

After posting that, chowmein pointed out a video clip which was very interesting and disclosed some of the security measure built into the labeler---

Pre-determined test images for which google knows what the labels should be are presented to users early in the game, (ie- a bird, a dog, a tree). If one of the players gives labels like "snark" on these, G knows the user is gaming the game... If both of the remote users (who are supposedly unknown to each other) provide the same (false) label, it tells the system it is being gamed by both players.

They did extensive testing with the software under the name "The ISP Game" prior to it's use as the Google Image Labeler.


 9:10 pm on Sep 6, 2006 (gmt 0)

If serious, the most ludicrous and laughable attempt to produce a serious description of imagery I could imagine.
The "competitive" (or is that "co-operative"?) element reduces the chances of serious descriptions to - well, zero, really, in 99% of cases, I'd suggest.
The images presented to me were mostly unrecognisable portions of pictures, image slices probably, together with a few images that could have so many potential descriptions that unsurprisingly "you and your partner failed to agree on any descriptions".
Just the kind of antic that will confirm what many already suspect - that Google (or its free-wheeling employees) has lost the plot.
In fact, it strikes me as almost humiliating in its awfulness.


 9:30 pm on Sep 6, 2006 (gmt 0)

Agree is addictive as a game for a short while, with the short time period and pressure to enter names quickly its basic in the extreme. You would need two locals for any possibility of any local content so forget that.

If you see any text on the screen just mention it for a match so that could help Google.

If you try it reduce your screen resolution to a minimum it helps.

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