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Microsoft’s new dog-labeling app offers hilarious results for cats and presidential candidates

Who let the dogs out?


AJ Dellinger


It’s easy to think of Microsoft as a giant, boring company that is good at the boring stuff but bad at everything else. Over the past few months, though, the computing giant has shown off a little personality with its artificial intelligence projects—the latest of which is made to identify dog breeds.

Fetch!, the latest application of A.I. to come from the quirky and experimental development arm called Microsoft Garage, can take any picture you throw at it and produce an educated guess at what dog is in the image. It’s facial recognition but for pups.

The app, available on Web and mobile, also provides some bits of information for each breed, dropping knowledge on a dog’s disposition, size, coat and what types of families are best suited for each. 

Fetch! marks the first crack at animal identification from Microsoft—prior to it, the company rolled out several apps specifically for identifying information about humans. Using its artificial intelligence platform, Microsoft created tools that guess a person’s age, identifies twins, and detects emotions in facial expressions. 

So how accurate is Fetch? Stick with purebred dogs and it’s pretty good.

Mixed breeds threw the app for a loop.

Dogs in disguise can beat the algorithms.

It didn’t do great with cartoon dogs…

…though in it’s defense, Charlie B. Barkin from All Dogs Go to Heaven was technically dead and Snoopy was acting as a World War I fighter pilot, so Fetch! is right—there are no dogs to be found in those images.

Fetch! also thinks every cat is a pomeranian.

It might not be for cats, but Microsoft notes Fetch! isn’t just for dogs—it’s for humans as well. “Just for fun, we include a mode that lets you find out what dog breeds you and your friends are,” the app description reads. 

It’s smart of Microsoft to include that in its programming a way to account for pictures of people, because that’s exactly what everyone was going to throw at the app anyway. There’s only one real way to take advantage of that feature to the best of its ability: by throwing the remaining presidential candidates at it.

“Gets along with just about everyone” couldn’t be further from the truth for Ted Cruz, a man who has managed to irritate even his closest friends in the U.S. Senate. But “eager to please” is basically how his opponent Marco Rubio described him on the campaign trail, saying he is “willing to say or do anything in order to win.”

“Face of a werewolf.” Yep, that checks out.

Rubio is the youngest person running for president, so energetic and eager fit him well. And his path to victory will require him to soak up voters from lesser candidates as they drop out of the race, which is basically preying on small animals. He’s definitely vocal—he just seems to say the same thing over and over again when he opens his mouth.

Jeb Bush (likely the inspiration for the Fetch! name with his Jeb! branding) is the real golden retriever here, not Ted Cruz. He’s just waiting for the voters to realize that.

John Kasich has been in politics for a long time. He knows the game. Has it all just been an ongoing distraction to keep him from ripping up tissues in the trash bin?

Bernie Sanders is the only candidate running for president who isn’t beholden to the Big MilkBone industry. He wants to give every person the opportunity to be a good dog.

Everyone knows Hillary Clinton’s resume. They know what she’s accomplished and what she wants to do. But to earn the trust of the voters, she is going to have to finally answer the question: is she a rough or smooth collie?

Photo via Microsoft

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