Months after the feature was first revealed, Google is finally rolling out manual face tagging support to its Google Photos app. The feature builds upon Google’s existing face detection algorithm, enabling users to manually specify which person the system has automatically detected. Users will know they have access to the feature when a pen icon appears in the ‘People’ section in the image’s EXIF panel.
Google Photos features the ability to find and automatically tag people (and pets) in images uploaded to the service. This feature is useful for a number of reasons, including the ability to find images featuring a specific person by searching for them. The entire feature is based on Google’s algorithmic magic.
By adding the ability to manually tag people in images, Google Photos now leverages human, in addition to machine, intelligence. Users can manually tag someone in an image, meaning the app will start finding them in other images uploaded later on. As well, this makes it easier for users to fix mistakes caused by the algorithm.
According to Android Police, the feature is rolling out to users now, but not everyone is seeing it at this time. Once it arrives, you’ll notice a new pen icon located in an image’s EXIF panel next to the profiles of people featured in the image. The panel can be viewed by swiping up from the bottom of the screen.
Users can likewise fix existing tags that were incorrectly applied to people or pets featured in images. This will result in the person being correctly grouped with other images featuring them, resulting in better search results in the future. Whether fixing a mistake will help Google Photos avoid the same mistakes later on is unclear, however.