The old metaphorical phrase “don’t judge a book by its cover” has long been imprinted in our minds. But nowadays, artificial intelligence was developed to literally judge a book based on its cover, and the accuracy of the results was pretty high.
Two researchers from Japan’s Kyushu University was curious to know how well can AI, through deep neural networks, can identify a book’s genre by only looking at the image on the cover. The results show neural networks can perform remarkably.
Judgment on Outward Appearance
Despite the old-age English idiom of not judging a book based on its cover, which is a metaphor, book covers are actually designed to convey, in one way or another, what it is about. Through the cover, people can identify what category the book is shelved.
To know how well an AI can carry out the task, Seichi Uchida and Brian Kenji Iwana trained their neural network with 137,788 book covers downloaded from Amazon; all of them are under 20 different genres.
Eighty percent of the data was tasked to identify the book through its cover. Ten percent was from the dataset, for model validation, while the other 10 percent is for testing the neural network.
With their deep artificial neural networks, each layer, which is four in total, contained 512 neurons.
In the results, the algorithm of the artificial intelligence listed three genres that are possibly categorized by the book. And its accuracy was meaningfully high to be considered as mere chance.
For the “20-class classification,” the accuracy rate for Top 1 is 21.9 percent. Top 2 got 32.1 percent while Top 3 got 40.2 percent on the experiment.
Not Perfect – Yet
Just like many technologies still being developed, the AI is not yet perfect. Some book covers are too ambiguous to be identified for a specific category and there are also limitations on the AI’s ability for image recognition.
Memoirs and biographies are confused with, just like science and medical books. Children’s books are also mistaken for graphic novels or comics.
In time, though, these flaws can be improved with more data especially at today’s fast advancement on artificial intelligence.
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