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How EyeEm uses AI to organize, keyword and find the best photos

by Cory Schmidt  |  July 11, 2017

3 min. read
EyeEm woman red hair looking leaves

Every two minutes, humans take more photos than existed in total just 150 years ago. Think about what that means: The digital revolution has turned photos into a commodity, something impossibly cheap to take and archive. And it has turned millions of people into photographers who create billions of images every day. On the one hand, that’s great news: Photography is now more accessible and ‘democratized’ for the masses. More photographers capture increasingly varied shots in virtually all corners of the world. On the other hand, the resulting mass is becoming harder to keep track of. For humans, it has long become impossible to see all the photos uploaded on a given day – and the amount just keeps growing. With technology, the impossible becomes plausible.

EyeEm is a photography company with a community of more than 20 million users. It runs a marketplace where photographers can share and sell their work. But it has also found a unique way of discovering premium content among all uploads. But what is premium content? Well, it’s stuff that you can’t usually find on stock platforms. Perhaps the most popular and commonly required photo subject: Human beings.

Portraits of people are low-maintenance, captivating and can act as a vehicle for extensive creativity and craft. A great portrait serves unique purposes for both the photographer and the subject. This mutually beneficial interaction is rare. Most types of photography are not as generous or rewarding to the subject as well as the photographer. Portraits come in many forms. An artistic, well-crafted portrait is more than a simple shot of a person, as it goes beyond a physical representation of their appearance. A truly great portrait is revelatory in that it allows the viewer to understand a deeper facet of the subject and who they are as a human being. In the world of stock photography, high-quality portraits are rare and in extremely high demand.
A woman, sitting, with her back turned.

By Jon Hafner

But how do you find the truly great portraits in the masses? EyeEm, over the last few years, built a system that will make this task much easier. EyeEm’s image recognition software, called EyeEm Vision, not only automatically keywords and captions each individual photo that is uploaded by every user, it also ranks them in an automated fashion. You can test the capability of EyeEm Vision here.

The computer vision engine is built on a foundation of impressive deep learning technology, which is programmed with image collections that are already curated, and thus can act in accordance with the general preferences of the photo editor who is using the technology. The engine will scan and comprehend user data and, with this, teach itself to not only organize the images but also judge their quality. EyeEm Vision can go beyond that and learn personal aesthetic preferences based on a small training set of images. Helping you to circumnavigate the barrier of accessibility to quality, EyeEm Vision thus cuts through the mediocrity and matches you to the best photos for your taste in a smooth, easy, and efficient manner. Treat yourself to an aesthetic treat; check out the results of EyeEm Vision below!
A man sitting

By Jay T.

A woman in front of a house.

By Jay Ybarra

Portrait photo of a young man.

By Caroline Brouckaert

Photo of a swimmer emerging from the water.

By EL3 Imagery

A woman walking in a marsh.

By Оливия

A woman standing in a field.

By Vladislav Ostapovich

Article contributed by EyeEm