I wrote about my conversion from Aperture to Picasa two days ago. I have now completed that transition and have started to upload things up to Google Photos. What is neat about Google Photos is the automated suggestions that it makes with your photos. They call this Google Photos Assistant, and it will suggest stories, panoramas, and collages based on your photo dates, content, faces, etc.
Fred Wilson, one of my favorite bloggers, wrote about the same thing today. Go check it out and make sure to read the comments. You will start to get a feeling of where machine learning can do for you right now, not in a few years.
As a personal example, it will create a storybook for me based on a location and date. Here is a story from two weekends ago, completely unedited by me. I did nothing other than grab the URL. Just a short trip, but it even takes videos and creates animated GIFs so you can get a feeling for the action instead of watching the whole video.
Here is another example from a longer trip, the one Kymberlee and I took three years ago as we moved from California to Tennessee. Very well done considering no human judgement went into the selection of the photos. Note how it grabbed some of the signage to help describe where we were.
The other advantage of Picasa is better face recognition. Apple continues to get better with this, but my personal experience is that Google is always about one year ahead of Apple when it comes to machine learning or cloud operations.
Going back to the title of the post, the one thing I know about the future of technology is that it will be vastly different than it is today. The idea of personal storage will eventually go away. The concept of files and folders, just like their analog filing cabinets, will fade away. Exactly how this will happen, I do not know, but I am looking forward to watching the transition.
For those of you geeky enough to care, here are two resources that give you a sense of the pace of change. Make sure and watch the videos instead of just looking at the slides!
Mary Meeker’s Internet Trends Report (just try and keep up with her without having to pause it)
Ben Evan’s updated Mobile is Eating the World presentation