Xerox 'aesthetic quality' algorithm outed

Xerox algorithm
The new Xerox algorithm aims to be able to automatically assess image quality

Xerox is working on a new algorithm that will be able to judge the aesthetic quality of photographs.

The tool, which is currently under development is being showcased on Open Xerox, a website run by the company to show off its developments.

At the moment, you can play with the image search tool using a variety of different pre-sets, but as yet you can't upload your own images to be judged by the algorithm.

According to Xerox, the company is trying to "tackle the difficult task of trying to learn automatically what makes an image special, and makes photo enthusiasts as high quality."

Judging quality

On the image search website, Xerox says "when searching for a photograph of a beach, you don't just want any old standard shot. You want a nice beach with lots of colours, a good composition and perfect exposure."

While the algorithm is of course far from perfect - it's still in the alpha stages - exploring what it can do so far is interesting. Different categories currently in the search include "Clouds/Sky", "Boat", "Portrait" and "Waterfall" among others. In the "Clouds/Sky" category, the website says, "Very overcast skies where everything looks blue is an indication of poor quality."

As the algorithm is in its early stages, Xerox is looking for feedback on the technology. So if you think it's impossible for a computer to objectively assess aesthetic beauty, or you think it's a great idea - you can let Xerox know on the Open Xerox website.

Via Petapixel.

Amy Davies

Amy has been writing about cameras, photography and associated tech since 2009. Amy was once part of the photography testing team for Future Publishing working across TechRadar, Digital Camera, PhotoPlus, N Photo and Photography Week. For her photography, she has won awards and has been exhibited. She often partakes in unusual projects - including one intense year where she used a different camera every single day. Amy is currently the Features Editor at Amateur Photographer magazine, and in her increasingly little spare time works across a number of high-profile publications including Wired, Stuff, Digital Camera World, Expert Reviews, and just a little off-tangent, PetsRadar.