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Microsoft rolls out dog-identifying photo tool

Published:Monday | February 29, 2016 | 12:00 AM

Microsoft's latest trick - analysing a photo to identify the dog breed of your canine companion.

The tool, released last Thursday, lives at and comes as a Web app or download for devices running Apple's iOS. It's the latest in Microsoft's campaign to advertise the potential of machine-learning research being done by a Microsoft Research group in Cambridge, UK, and other engineers and researchers at the Seattle-area company.

Previous Internet-friendly efforts include apps that tried to peg your age, reviewed moustaches, and evaluated whether two people looked like twins.

The attention-seeking tools highlight the progress computer-science researchers are making in a key area of artificial intelligence. Computers are great at solving defined problems and making quick calculations, but identifying the content of images has proved a stumbling point for developing smarter software.