Riya – Facial Recognition

I wrote about Riya previously,expressing a bit of skepticism about the technology. I shouldtemper that by saying that I’ve never used it, and themost I’ve heard about it are some cursory micro-reviews, but myskepticism is based on the history of facial- and scene-recognition technology, and the barriers this product hassupposedly overcome: Facial recognition, like character and voicerecognition, has to be accurate enough that it is more beneficialthan detrimental (e.g. nuisance false positives, and detrimentalfalse negatives), and historically the latter is far moreprevalent. Sure we’ll get there, but it’s just surprizing that acompany could go from the primitive stage that we’re at today tosuch an advanced stage, all in just one step.

Anyways, today I happened to look at my to see thatthere has been an explosion of Riya postings – Google, or so thestory goes, has put a $40 or $60 million dollar offer to buy Riya.If you follow the blogs around you’ll discover the bigcircular authority that is prevalent in these sorts of “blogscoops”, with A attributing his source to B, but B hilariouslypoints to A as the authority. Remarkable stuff. Like the technologyitself, it could very well be true…but I certainly would take itwith a mountain-sized grain of salt.

Indeed, if Riya is as capable as we’ve been told, I’d say that$60 million would be grossly undervaluing the IP – This would makea photo service stand head, shoulders, and torso above itscompetition, and I’d be looking for a number more like $400-$500million. Seriously.