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VSCO's new Discover feature uses AI to find pictures with the same "mood"

The AI, known as Ava, will help VCSO's community find photos and creators based on the feelings they express.

Published onFebruary 7, 2018

Photo app VSCO has rolled out a new “Discover” feature which aims to recommend pictures in a unique way. The system will use a machine learning AI, called Ava, to help its community discover pictures (or creators) capturing a similar mood to those that they’ve previously shown interest in.

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The news arrives via Ubergizmo and it’s the culmination of AI research VSCO has been working on for a while. For those who aren’t aware, VSCO is a photo-editing app with its own community where people can upload and share pictures—something like a more niche version of Instagram. Though VSCO’s creators have been helping artists connect with each since the apps launch in 2011, this would be the first time they have employed this kind AI to help facilitate it. 

Many photo apps now utilize AI in some capacity—Google Photos is famous for helping people find photos of landmarks, food, pets etc among there uploaded snaps. What’s interesting about VSCO’s approach is how subtle and nebulous it is. Trying to help people discover artworks/creators based on the feelings they illicit, rather than identifying something  specific like “graffiti artists,” for example, sounds very intriguing.

How it works in practice, however, we don’t yet know: the update is live for iOS users but it’s not yet hit Android. Ubergizmo says it’s coming soon and we’ll let you know when it lands. In the meantime, you can download the app for free at the link below.  

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