back to article Google's cloudy image recognition is easily blinded, say boffins

Google's Cloud Vision API is easily blinded by the addition of a little noise to the images it analyses, say a trio of researchers from the Network Security Lab at the University of Washington, Seattle. Authors Hossein Hosseini, Baicen Xiao and Radha Poovendran have hit arXiv with a pre-press paper titled Google’s Cloud Vision …

  1. Winkypop Silver badge

    Blinded by the blight

    Next: Increase in robberies by pimply people!

  2. MacroRodent

    Autonomous cars

    My first though was this kills self-driving cars, until sorted out, because an image with noise added is precisely what you see through the windshield when driving while it is snowing or raining heavily.

    1. Buzzword

      Re: Autonomous cars

      It's no coincidence that all the companies working on self-driving cars are in dry & sunny California...

  3. Charlie Clark Silver badge

    Oh goody! More training data

    Interesting study but I suspect the system can soon be trained to work with such processed images.

  4. Peter2 Silver badge

    The Register recently learned of a drone designed to photograph supermarket shelves so that image analysis can automatically figure out what stock needs to be re-ordered


    Wouldn't it just be easier to output the barcode references from the tills to a database so you know what's been sold, and then just reorder the difference to take you up to the preset stock level? ie, you have 3 boxes of 12 items each of item X, and once 12 items have been used the computer system reorders one box of item X and tasks a meatbag to stick in on a shelf.

    Obviously subject to small variances due to theft, but that's what stockchecks and human management are for.

    1. Adrian 4 Silver badge

      The snag with that is that it uses 50 year old back-office technology and not Ooh, Drones.

    2. Hollerithevo

      One would have thought...

      That computerised stock, using bar codes, plus 'just in time' deliveries would mean nothing was out of stock, but sadly the big supermarket I live near is regularly out of the stuff I want to buy. Hello: Lakeland 0% fat yoghurt -- flies off the shelves! Order more, Sainsbury's!

      1. Peter2 Silver badge

        Re: One would have thought...

        Depends. My system would only work as long as people buy less than 36 of product X per day. It may happen that they sell 18 every weekday and 30 at weekends, at which point you'd need a higher reserve stock. But you might not want a higher stock if they are (quickly) perishable, so running out might be preferable.

    3. LoPath
      Paris Hilton

      Checking stock

      Whatever happened to RFID-everything? Not sexy anymore?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Checking stock

        Ooooh, sick burn! And spot on. RFID is a much heartier technology than the UPC label. I could just print up some sticky UPC labels and there's my vector; can I trick a sales droid into scanning a fake UPC label? For RFID, much harder to cover with a sticky label, even if it were RFID blocking in some small way.

        And you can many times just stuff some product into another box and purchase THAT, and the droid be none the wiser. I needed a Kurieg coffee insert cone thing, and they don't sell them anywhere, so I just took one out of the display unit, switched it for the grey basket type, which they do sell but it makes a crap cup of anything, and I purchased that. Thanks for not having the right part, idiots. If you can't beat them, hack them.

    4. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      This is already what happens. Plus, they already have cameras covering the whole area: fixed view cameras are much easier to calibrate and train. But we need to dream up "use cases" for drones and image recognition other than whether some celebrity has got their baps out…

  5. John 104

    Not Wrong

    Technically, it got it right. The tea pot has foliage on it. The home is a human ecosystem and the airplane does fly like a bird...

    1. Deltics

      Re: Not Wrong

      Flies like a bird ? O.o

      Yep, international air travel really only took off once Boeing nailed that whole "flapping the wings" mechanism.

  6. harmjschoonhoven

    Inquiring minds want to know

    when Google's Cloud Vision API starts to recognize an image with added noise as a snowstorm.

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