Google has a beta application called Google Image Labeler which it describes as “a feature of Google Search that allows you to label images and help improve the quality of Google’s image search results.”
You are matched up with another online user and both of you are shown an image. You each start adding labels to the image until you both suggest the same label. To add to the challenge, you can’t see the labels your partner is adding. So you just keep adding labels until the game tells you that you matched — or you and your partner may click a “pass” button to move to the next image.
Once a match is made, a new image is presented to both of you and the process begins again. And just to make it really exciting, there is a time clock. You and your partner are given two minutes to label as many images as possible. And of course, it wouldn’t be a game without scoring. So there are points rewarded for successful matches.
After the clock has expired, you are shown a page containing your overall score, thumbnails of the images you saw, along with identifying information:
- image size
- image URL
- whether it was a pass or a match (with matched word)
- your partner’s labels
A little warning
Some of the images presented are a bit risque. However, Google does not believe you’ll come across inappropriate images. In the Image Labeler FAQ Google states, “While there’s no guarantee, it’s unlikely that you’ll see mature content because all images are filtered under image search’s Strict Safe Search setting.” Hmm, well I saw a few that apparently snuck past the filter.
Also, since you are playing with an unknown partner, your success – or failure as the case may be – depends in part on the other person. On one occasion, I had a partner who I couldn’t match with at all, and when the game was over and I reviewed his or her image labels, they were not related to the images at all and were rather silly like “poop,” for example.
You should give Google’s Image Labeler a try, but I’ll warn you , it is a little addictive.