Bing Visual Search: Image AI is here

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Although Google is still the dominant search engine with a market share of 72.21%, Bing is slowly climbing the ranks and now occupies 7.72%.

Intelligence Search and Intelligence Assistants: Exploring the AI-era of Search

Since its launch in 2009 by tech-giant Microsoft, Bing has not shied away from implementing changes across its search engine in a bid to improve user experience and become a more popular platform — and the increase in market share shows that it’s working.

But will it ever be on par with the likes of Google? Probably not. However, we think that Google will soon be implementing its own version of this new Bing image feature. Especially with figures suggesting that 22% of people click on Google image results.

With an aim to offer users more intelligent results from a user’s initial query, Bing Visual Search has been introduced by the search engine to help achieve this through images. This new feature can identify different entities of an image (whether this is text or an object) and source similar images, products or information that could be useful to the user.

As well as this, users who take photos of their wine, spirits or beer bottles will receive expert ratings and reviews through Delectable — something which we foresee expanding in the future across different types of searches.

Bing Visual Search has been built for mobile and desktop which will undoubtedly increase its use among different demographics. Not only that, the computer vision recognition technology within it can build visual skills that can provide new knowledge and actions which can tailor the user’s journey more specifically.

The Three Steps

There are three main steps to Bing Visual Search:

  1. Once a user has taken a photograph, Bing Visual Search will run it through its image understanding and intent service to determine what the image is and what you might want to know.
  2. Depending on the image, Bing Visual Search will request different ‘skills’ — which means it will offer various kinds of information relating to the picture. For example, if you snap a photo of a bunch of flowers, the skills you receive may be the nearest florist to your current location or a guide to properly caring for that type of plant.
  3. These skill results are combined and sent to your device, allowing you to scroll through and select the information you need.
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