Tags: cognition

13

sparkline

Tuesday, November 13th, 2018

Optimise without a face

I’ve been playing around with the newly-released Squoosh, the spiritual successor to Jake’s SVGOMG. You can drag images into the browser window, and eyeball the changes that any optimisations might make.

On a project that Cassie is working on, it worked really well for optimising some JPEGs. But there were a few images that would require a bit more fine-grained control of the optimisations. Specifically, pictures with human faces in them.

I’ve written about this before. If there’s a human face in image, I open that image in a graphics editing tool like Photoshop, select everything but the face, and add a bit of blur. Because humans are hard-wired to focus on faces, we’ll notice any jaggy artifacts on a face, but we’re far less likely to notice jagginess in background imagery: walls, materials, clothing, etc.

On the face of it (hah!), a browser-based tool like Squoosh wouldn’t be able to optimise for faces, but then Cassie pointed out something really interesting…

When we were both at FFConf on Friday, there was a great talk by Eleanor Haproff on machine learning with JavaScript. It turns out there are plenty of smart toolkits out there, and one of them is facial recognition. So I wonder if it’s possible to build an in-browser tool with this workflow:

  • Drag or upload an image into the browser window,
  • A facial recognition algorithm finds any faces in the image,
  • Those portions of the image remain crisp,
  • The rest of the image gets a slight blur,
  • Download the optimised image.

Maybe the selecting/blurring part would need canvas? I don’t know.

Anyway, I thought this was a brilliant bit of synthesis from Cassie, and now I’ve got two questions:

  1. Does this exist yet? And, if not,
  2. Does anyone want to try building it?

Monday, December 18th, 2017

The Real Danger To Civilization Isn’t AI. It’s Runaway Capitalism.

Spot-on take by Ted Chiang:

I used to find it odd that these hypothetical AIs were supposed to be smart enough to solve problems that no human could, yet they were incapable of doing something most every adult has done: taking a step back and asking whether their current course of action is really a good idea. Then I realized that we are already surrounded by machines that demonstrate a complete lack of insight, we just call them corporations.

Related: if you want to see the paperclip maximiser in action, just look at the humans destroying the planet by mining bitcoin.

Thursday, January 19th, 2017

Improving accessibility in Co-op wills – Digital blogs

Some interesting insights from usability and accessibility testing at the Co-op.

We used ‘nesting’ to reduce the amount of information on the page when the user first reaches it. When the user chooses an option, we ask for any other details at that point rather than having all the questions on the page at once.

Wednesday, July 20th, 2016

Questions for our first 1:1 | Lara Hogan

Shamefully, I haven’t been doing one-to-ones with my front-end dev colleagues at Clearleft, but I’m planning to change that. This short list of starter questions from Lara will prove very useful indeed.

Tuesday, July 27th, 2010

Op-Ed Contributor - Mind Over Mass Media - NYTimes.com

An excellent rebuttal by Steven Pinker to Nicholas Carr's usual trolling.

Tuesday, November 24th, 2009

Humanising data: introducing “Chernoff Schools” for Ashdown – Blog – BERG

Matt gets an opportunity to use the Chernoff effect for visualising school data.

Tuesday, May 19th, 2009

Racist Camera! No, I did not blink... I'm just Asian! on Flickr - Photo Sharing!

"Nikon, the racist camera" (sing it to the tune of Flight of the Concords' "Albi, the racist dragon").

Racist Camera! No, I did not blink... I'm just Asian!

Wednesday, February 11th, 2009

App Shopper: WhatTheFont (Reference)

Like Shazam, but for fonts. Snap a picture of some text on your iPhone and this app will phone home to the WhatTheFont mothership in order to identify it for you.

Tuesday, November 25th, 2008

Change blindness and the role of the grey flicker- 90 Percent of Everything

An interesting look at the way our brains responds to changes in our environment ...with video.

Sunday, August 10th, 2008

Who Framed George Lakoff? - ChronicleReview.com

A detailed look at the troubled history of George Lakoff, the father of conceptual metaphor.

Monday, October 29th, 2007

What the F***?

I saw Steven Pinker give a talk recently and he spent a fair amount of time talking about swearing. He has written up that part of the talk into an article for the New Republic.

Monday, October 1st, 2007

Faces in Places

Your brain is hardwired to respond to the shape of a face.

Friday, March 23rd, 2007

Molt:n Core » Jeremy Keith killed JFK?

Apparently I look like Lee Harvey Oswald and Keanu Reeves. Whoa! Cameron Adams, on the other hand, looks like a bunch of girls (a bunch of hot girls, admittedly).