Google has launched Google Image Labeler, a tool to allow them to label images from Google’s Image Search.
The application is being described by others as a game because it is based on technology licensed from Carnegie Mellon University, the ESPGame, but has a practical purpose. This a simple way for Google to add meta tags to all their images at no cost.
The application requires you to login to your Google account and select a nickname. You are then paired up with another user who views the same images as you. When you both agree on a label for an image it is deemed valid and another image is displayed. Each session lasts for 90 seconds with an option to pass on images where there is stalemate or an unrecognisable blur.
At SearchEngineWatch, the creator of the ESPGame, Luis von Ahn suggested that it could only take a couple of weeks for Google to label all images in their database. If correct, that is a massive crowdsourced task completed with very little infrastructure, expense or criticism.
Whether this application will remain to improve the labelling or whether it will be activated at regular intervals to label new additions to the database is unknown. It is a Google Beta after all!