'How algorithms are changing our relationship with images' by Tess Danielson in The Christian Monitor

"Anyone who has attempted to capture a photograph through a window is probably well aware of how a reflection can ruin your shot, but those days may be over thanks to researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The MIT group has found a way for an algorithm to erase the "ghosted" elements from digital photos. Based on the fact that most pictures are taken through a double-pane glass window and almost always create two identical, marginally shifted reflections, the team created an algorithm that can automatically remove the unwanted image from the photo.

But this is far from the only thing humans have taught learning software to do. 

Microsoft recently unveiled its how-old.net project, which uses a collection of advanced algorithms to guess the age of someone in a picture. Similar technology is used in Google image searching tools and Facebook’s tagging feature. There is also growing momentum behind using fingerprints or eye scans to log in to a device.

There are now multiple apps and software systems that can recognize and identify classic paintings, sometimes even beating their human counterparts. Using smart-phone technology, students at Birmingham City University created the XploR mobility cane, which utilizes facial recognition to help blind people identify if friends or family are nearby. And forensic anthropologists at Michigan State University revealed its Fracture Printing Interface earlier this year, software that is helping scientists identify when a skull fracture is potentially the result of child abuse."

Read the full article here.