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Beware: Your Apple iPhone has a category called ‘brassiere’ for your photos

Apple had first introduced image recognition to the Photos app with iOS 10 in June 2016.

  • Published: November 1, 2017 11:43 AM IST
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You know of the search feature in the Photos of your iPhone? If no, we will come back to that. If yes, the Photos app, other than searching pictures based on your location or the name of the person in your picture, has secretly been making a category called ‘brassiere’, and no one knew about it! However, recently, Twitter user ellieeewbu revealed in a post that searching “brassiere” in the Photos app on iPhones categorizes photos featuring bras automatically into a group. So if you have yours on anybody’s pictures in a brassiere in your iPhone, your iPhone has already categorized it in the back of its mind.

Ever since Ell revealed this sneaky feature, women have been responding to the tweet posting screenshots with similar results. Most searches show photos of lingerie, bikinis, bare skin, or in some cases, memes.

Now, it wouldn’t exactly be fair to call this categorization ‘dangerous’, because it is the sheer intelligence this image recognition capability of the Photos app is meant to offer. And as Apple stressed during the keynote in 2016, as well as on its website, that all object detection is done completely locally on the device. The image recognition was introduced with iOS 10 in June 2016, when the Photos app was updated with deep learning for object and scene detection. ALSO READ: iOS 11.1, watchOS 4.1, macOS High Sierra 10.13.1 released: Here’s what’s new

When the capability was released last year, developer Kenny Yin detailed in a Medium post all of the facial expressions and objects the Photos app recognized, which he found through a few lines of code in the framework of macOS Sierra’s Photos app. At the time it was released, the app was capable of recognizing seven different facial expressions, and a total of 4,432 keywords, “brassiere” included. And if you really go through the list, you’d notice how every woman intimate wear is a category, but none for the men. You have bikini, lingerie, brassiere, but there is no boxer or even a shirt.

Now coming to the point where people are just finding out that there is a search feature in the Photos app. If you go to Photos app, on the top right corner, you would notice a search icon, right next to the edit option. Tap on that, and search as per the places you visited, or the people who have added, or even the clothes you were wearing. Refer to the list above to get an idea for the categories you can search. Below are a few samples I can share with you from my iPhone. ALSO READ: iOS 11: Here’s what you get when quickly typing 1+2+3 on the calculator


The tweet was first spotted by The Verge.

  • Published Date: November 1, 2017 11:43 AM IST