Fun with Baidu’s Translate App

by Project Pengyou on January 28th, 2014   17917 views

Baidu’s translation app can recognize images… sort of.

Chinese search company Baidu has just updated its translation app for iOS and Android to include a fun new feature: image recognition.

Just snap a photo with the app and trace your finger around the object you want to identify. Using a technology called Deep Learning, the app compares what you’ve circled against millions of images in its database.

To test this new feature, we first took some pictures of food, to see if the app could help China newcomers identify their favorite dishes. Here are the results:

Food translation

The app was surprisingly good at identifying common Chinese dishes, though the deceptively simple “rice” stumped it.

Food translation

Close but not quite. Next we tried common household items. Perhaps students could use the app to brush up on their vocab.

Things translation

Again, pretty close. Although we can imagine someone saying, “Excuse me, I need to use the Panda Rabbit.”

“We know it’s not perfect but we wanted users to have fun with it,” said Kaiser Kuo, Director of International Communications at Baidu and one of our trusty advisors. “It’ll get better with time.”

Indeed, as more images are added to the database, we expect the results to improve. But ironically the best part of using the app is getting things wrong. When we turned the cameras on ourselves, we got some pretty unexpected results:

Team translation
Team translation
Team translation

To become a “man of tremendous promise” or “get into the bowl!” yourself, download the app now!


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