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Facebook’s artificial intelligence (AI) team has built a visual search system that can recognize content that appears in photos and return relevant search results.

This means you can now search for images on Facebook with key words that describe the contents of a photo, rather than being limited by tags and captions.

“We’ve built a search system that leverages image understanding to sort through this vast amount of information and surface the most relevant photos quickly and easily,” according to a Facebook blog post published today. “Using Facebook’s automatic image classifiers … you can imagine a scenario where someone could search through all the photos that his or her friends have shared to look for a particular one based on the image content instead of relying on tags or surrounding text.”

For instance, let’s say you search for “black shirt photo.” Facebook said that Lumos will search for and see any photos that contain a black shirt – even if no tags have been added to the photo. Facebook will then return search results that are relevant to the query, as well as diverse.

Initially used to improve the experience for visually impaired members of the Facebook community, the company’s Lumos computer vision platform is now powering image content search for all users.

Credit: TechCrunch