That title is exactly ripped from MSNBC because it’s spot on. Turns out that the Google Image Search (beta beta beta) is not so hot. What it’s doing is getting pictures with similar looks and colors to it. So pop in a photo of Obama with all those flags behind it and it guesses you are looking at a picture of George W Bush. For real.

So then they took a picture of a dog on the grass and the returns? Any dogs? Nope pictures of a similar color scheme. In fact, the only thing that it gets correct are famous landmarks that you already know and wouldn’t waste your time using image search for. It even gives you a tip “Tip: Try entering a descriptive word in the search box” as in don’t use image search.

Oh and technically I don’t see the beta tag on the Google images site but we all know that except for the search engine itself, everything Google releases has a beta tag on it…that’s why Android requires 4 battery pulls a day, music beta is almost unusable and their image search requires text entry.


  1. I uploaded pictures of my friends (fully clothes) and got porn for “visually similar images”

  2. Brianna: Now I hate porn and even tasteful nudity as much as the next guy, but do you have any idea what Google Images is up against? Hint, not your friends, but naked chicks doing stuff that look sort of like your friends.

    It takes all sorts of crazy math for Google to stay on top of this quicksand of porn, each grain of sand representing a megabyte of porn and a few grains of non-quick sand mixed within the quicksand into which Google sinks representing non-porn; and if you toggle SafeSearch from off to moderate to strict, it does an okay job.

    Yes, even on strict safesearch mode, even I, naive and pure, was able to find images that would make even the thick-skinned Doug Smith uncomfortable, but what do you expect will happen if you’re researching the hoofs of camels for example and nets for fishing, hourglasses and perfect asses.

  3. “Now I hate porn and even tasteful nudity as much as the next guy”

    Sure you do Doug! LOL! By the way, try Bing’s image search. It’s better. I know you’ll like that.

  4. By the way, this is just another example of why Google is not a software company. Try as they might, at the end of the day they are still nothing but a data mining, search, and ad company. Their software products have never been all that compelling, save for Google search and maybe Google Earth, a product that they bought.

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