About Visual Recognition

The IBM Watson™ Visual Recognition service uses deep learning algorithms to analyze images for scenes, objects, faces, and other content. The response includes keywords that provide information about the content.

A set of built-in classes provides highly accurate results without training. You can train custom classifiers to create specialized classes. You can also create custom collections of your own images, and then upload an image to search the collection for similar images.

How to use the service

The following image shows the process of creating and using the classifier:

Describes the flow of the  service, from preparing, training, and classifying images to viewing results.

Use cases

The Visual Recognition service can be used for diverse applications and industries, such as:

  • Manufacturing: Use images from a manufacturing setting to make sure products are being positioned correctly on an assembly line
  • Visual Auditing: Look for visual compliance or deterioration in a fleet of trucks, planes, or windmills out in the field, train custom classifiers to understand what defects look like
  • Insurance: Rapidly process claims by using images to classify claims into different categories.
  • Social listening: Use images from your product line or your logo to track buzz about your company on social media
  • Social commerce: Use an image of a plated dish to find out which restaurant serves it and find reviews, use a travel photo to find vacation suggestions based on similar experiences, use a house image to find similar homes that are for sale
  • Retail: Take a photo of a favorite outfit to find stores with those clothes in stock or on sale, use a travel image to find retail suggestions in that area
  • Education: Create image-based applications to educate about taxonomies, use pictures to find educational material on similar subjects

Supported languages

The Classify an image method supports English (en), Spanish (es), Arabic (ar), and Japanese (ja) for default classes. Custom classifiers returned with this method support only English. Collections methods are language agnostic.

All other methods support English only.

Next steps

Questions and feedback

Find answers to your questions about the Visual Recognition service in our developer communities:

  • For programming questions, go to the Watson forums on Stack Overflow.
  • For Watson products and services, go to the Watson forum on dw Answers.
  • To read posts about Watson services, go to the Watson blog.