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Watson Visual Recognition – Changes to Face Model

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IBM’s ethos of continuous innovation is deeply ingrained within the company’s product teams, shaping how we evaluate our services and orient priorities based on both user and market feedback. The Watson Visual Recognition product, development, and research teams have been working to improve the accuracy of the service as part of a broader effort around responsible stewardship and bias reduction.

In the past year, we’ve seen face imaging capabilities take the forefront in AI headlines, from unlocking phones with face ID, to replacing boarding passes with face recognition. As part of these broader trends in image recognition that we’ve been following, the Watson Visual Recognition team is making a number of changes to the service today.

New Face Model Beta
A new Face Model is now available in Beta and features significant accuracy enhancements for age and gender estimates.  The new Face Model Beta will exist alongside the current Face Model GA version until April 2, 2018, when the Beta version will replace the current GA version. Instructions for accessing the Beta can be found here.

Celebrity Model Deprecation
The Celebrity Model will be deprecated on April 2, 2018. Part of the current GA version of Face Model, the Celebrity Model is a sub-feature that allows users to recognize a number of specific celebrities in photos. As part of our broader effort to provide more robust capabilities around face imaging, we’re retiring this feature to drive greater development efforts around face imaging capabilities.

Sneak Peek: Broader Service Changes
We’ll be announcing a number of changes to the Watson Visual Recognition service at Think 2018, IBM’s flagship conference on March 19-22. These updates will include new feature capabilities, developer tools, and user experience changes. Register for the conference and find more information about our event sessions here.

Questions? Comments? Working on your own Watson projects? Let us know in the comments below, and don’t hesitate to reach out!

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