Riya Part 2?

In some previous entries I described my skepticism ofRiya — a supposedly extraordinary new image recognition technologythat could amazingly discern between twins, among a plethora ofother amazing features (such as discerning the specifics of highlyobscured, stylized text). The “blogosphere” went nuts, with alot of believers hoping they’d catch the leading wave of thisamazing new innovation, leading the trend.

Lots of predictions were made about Google or Yahoo payinghundreds of millions for this revolution.

Looks like Riya is now ahandbag finder.

Nonetheless, today I see a featured Slashdotstory declaring the privacy invasion that an amazing new facialrecognition will potentially bring. One again it’s a”coming soon” technology that’s going torevolutionize the image analysis market.

[EDIT: Remarkably, without even the slightest ounce of proof ofany real world value, this “technology” has been featured on manyof the largest news sites. Now that’s P.R. that’s worth itspay]

Of course this one is very cleverly marketed: If they simplysaid “We’re going to introduce something amazing sometime nextyear!” most would rightly dismiss it as vapourware, waitingfor actual proof. Instead it’s introduced under the “what is thisgoing to do to privacy?”, a distracting question that lets lazytechnology writers run with it without actually researching thevalidity of the underlying promises.

Will there ever come a time when people are just a little bitmore skeptical of this sort of thing?


Visual Studio 2005 SP1 was released last Thursday. Thecomputationally demanding 442MB installer runs for hours,so set aside some time before you start.