We’re going to go out on a limb and assume you were not invited to the Royal Wedding. Don’t feel bad, we weren’t either.
But plenty of people will be on the Windsor Castle grounds on Saturday, many of whom are pretty famous. If you are planning to get up early and watch (there are many options to choose from), you may be hoping to catch a glimpse of someone you recognize.
Given that this will be a star-studded event, there is plenty of interest in who will be there (and plenty of gossip over who’s not!). We may recognize some of the guests, while others may look familiar but we can’t say from where.
Technology will help figure it out
Or at least it will try to. Sky News, with help from Amazon Web Services, will be broadcasting the wedding with a feature called “Who’s Who Live.”
In theory, with the help of Amazon’s Rekognition software along with GrayMeta and UI Centric, it will be able to identify each guest. It will then list their name as a subtitle on the screen.
We say “in theory” because as this technology is relatively new — especially in uses like this — there are some questions as to how well it will work. For it to do so, plenty will have to go right.
But if it performs as intended, Sky News may have the broadcast you want to tune into.
After all, given the couple’s celebrity there will be many notable people in attendance. As a member of the Royal Family, Prince Harry has many friends and family of note. His bride, American actress Meghan Markle, will likely have invited some co-stars from her popular series “Suits.”
What if it does work?
If Sky News’ broadcast goes off exactly as planned, this could open the door for a new way to view red carpet-like events. What station would not want to add the feature, allowing its viewers to know who they are watching the very moment they are watching them?
Then again, there are also the natural privacy concerns of technology being able to recognize us. Facebook’s use of it has made many uncomfortable, and the idea that facial recognition could be widespread and available is enough to make anyone question its existence.
OK then. But wait, what is Amazon Rekognition?
Part of the giant family of Amazon gadgets and software, Rekognition’s goal is to help integrate image and video analysis to applications. Really, does it surprise anyone that Amazon would have its hands in this cookie jar?
According to Amazon, you “just provide an image or video to the Rekognition API, and the service can identify the objects, people, text, scenes and activities.”
The feature is based on technology already developed by Amazon’s computer vision scientists, which is able to analyze billions of images and videos every day without any machine learning expertise to use.
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