Google Photos now uses crowdsourcing to train its machine learning algorithm

Google Photos Pixel 4a
Google Photos Pixel 4a (Image credit: Jeramy Johnson / Android Central)

What you need to know

  • The Google Photos app now offers an option for users to help improve its machine learning algorithm.
  • Users can now find the "Help improve Google Photos" option at the bottom of the "Search" tab in the Google Photos app.
  • By doing this, users can help improve how Google Photos understands and curates their photos.

Since its inception, Google Photos has been the leading industry standard in cloud storage for both photos and videos. The service not only keeps your photos in a fast and accessible manner, it also nicely curates and collages images through machine learning to create memorable collections for your library. And the best part is that it's free and available on all phones.

With the latest update for the Google Photos Android app, users can now help improve this machine learning algorithm through a new crowdsourcing feature. In the app, you can now find a "Help improve Google Photos" button at the bottom of the "Search" tab.

The feature takes you through a bunch of your old photos and asks what you know and can observe about the images. The questions can be super broad such as "Tap to type in what's important in this photo," and as specific as "Is this photo about Rosh Hashana" based on which function you're contributing to.

Currently, Google Photos offers four ways for users to contribute.

  • Understanding your photos: We'd like to learn what's important to you.
  • Printing preferences: Help us understand what you'd like to print
  • Made for you: Help us create better collages, animations, and more
  • Holiday photos: Help us learn which photos show a certain holiday or event.

The app also counts how many questions you've answered, and essentially gamifies how much you've contributed to improving Google Photos.

According to Google Photos Help, users most likely won't see the impact of their contributions right away. However, over time, Google Photos is promising improved memory collections, collages, and new curation options thanks to crowdsourcing.

While this looks like a neat addition, I'm not sure how many people will use this feature to make a meaningful impact. If you're planning on taking the time to help out the Google Photos machine learning, let us know down in the comments!

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Ho Young Won