Google Can Now Find Faces

Google Image Search is in the process of adding face-recognition technology, as well as new features to filter out images from news stories, according to Google Blogoscoped. The features, which so far are available only by appending a variable to the end of a search URL, are apparently based on technology from Neven Vision, a company that Google acquired last August.

For a search of faces, the filter is &imgtype=face. For example, a search for images related to Search Engine Strategies would return several kinds of images, including people, buildings, presentations and company logos. With &imgtype=face at the end of the URL, the same search shows only people.

The news image search filter is &imgtype=news. Compare a search for whales without the filter to one with the filter. The news image search returns mainly photos related to recent news stories about whales, while the unfiltered search includes many more kinds of whale images.

So far, Google has declined to comment on the changes, or to say if any other search qualifiers are expected to be launched for image searches.