Using AI to scan old family photos and recommend photos your relatives might be in
edited September 28, 2020 in Suggest an Idea
Rick R said: I have an idea that is rather big, but would be a really cool feature. We all have old family photos laying around with relatives and other people we do not know who they are. With the advances in AI technology, I would think it would be possible for a community to upload their old photos, tag people who they know, then the AI computers can scan their faces and find potential matches in other peoples photos. This is basically the same kind of commercial software that is available today in a number of industries just repurposed for genealogy research. This could help you identify unknown relatives in old photos and/or see pics of relatives others have you never knew existed.
Tom Huber said: The only available software for anyone outside of government circles was Picasa, until it was discontinued a couple of years ago by Google. I don't know who owns the code currently, or if the face recognition technology patents prevent Google (the company that discontinued the program) from being able to provide the source code for the program.
This has been previously requested and yes, it would be a great tool to have. I don't know if the API for FamilySearch can scan the images that are in everyone's memories (I suspect that privacy laws might prohibit this kind of activity if living people in included). The laws are very stringent.
Right now, there is no available tool that does the kind of great job that Picasa could do with images. And as to why it was discontinued is anyone's guess. Fortunately, since it was freeware, downloads are still out there, but be careful because freeware that has been discontinued can contain malware put there by people with nefarious plans.
Google has an "image" feature in its search engine, but it is no where as good as Picasa was and cannot be easily adapted for personal purposes on a personal computer.0
Rick R said: I actually sent Google this same suggestion a while back but never heard anything. I would think there is a way people can opt-in to allow for privacy concerns.0
Tom Huber said: It isn't a case of opting in, but one of observing the laws. FamilySearch is an international site and as such obeys the most stringent privacy laws, no matter where they are (Europe has some of the most rigid). Any use of a method to search photographs that are of living persons is going to be a problem with some of those laws. It is a international legal problem
Regardless, the technology is not available and may be protected by patents or restricted by law when it comes to a public site like FamilySearch.
As I mentioned, it would be a great feature, but unless we hear from a FS representative, it may be something that will not be developed for the site until any legal issues are resolved.0
Tom Huber said: I need to be more specific. Sites like Ancestry have users build their own trees, which are private. While the tree can be displayed, nothing regarding living persons, including photographs can be displayed.
FamilySearch FamilyTree is a single tree for all of mankind. There are no "your" or "my" tree like there is with Ancestry and other sites that feature individual trees.
As such the tree including all attached memories (photos, documents, stories) are viewable. From what I can tell, these can be viewed through the API, but you have to do so from a deceased person's record. (This has to do with the fully certified family tree management programs that can fully interface with FamilySearch FamilyTree.)
People may be tagged in the memory who are still living, but no one can access the living person's record except the person who created that record. As such, the memories are exposed, and because of that, the application must abide by privacy laws that are involved.0