Talk:Google Image Labeler

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Adult Images[edit]

Apparently at some point, Google Image Labeler started displaying pornographic images on a regular basis[1] which may have been the cause for its discontinuation.

Abuse - bot or users supplying random words?[edit]

I think they're Google bots supplying words like 'carcinoma' and whatnot. It seems that when these words don't show up, I'm playing against someone that isn't a guest. Also, it seems that I usually get images that have words in the "Off-limits" section when I'm not playing against someone who puts in those seemingly random words. Beanland 21:51, 1 February 2007 (UTC)

This is just too strange to ignore. Really, try it out: just play it for a few times, and in the end of each "mini-game" you can see your partner's guesses: strange words will be there. Not in every partner's, of course, but you're sure to discover you've been paired at least once with the "bequeathing-bot" or whoever it is. It would be fairly trivial to write a program that inserts words in the web form, so I am inclined to believe that this is somehow automated.

Now, this is what I think: Google should give the users the option of only playing with registered users. Many people have Google/Gmail accounts by now, and it would certainly improve the quality of the information gathered if only registered users were allowed to "play".

Google surely knows this, and I believe there has to be a reason why they let just any anonymous human, bot, or dog play. It would be very easy for them to only allow access to the "game" to people with Google accounts, and the fact that they don't filter the users may be telling. I don't want to speculate here, so I won't... but it sure makes you wonder why they allow anonymous users. Sure, the quantity of players will increase, but at the expense of quality; and if Google has shown something in the past, is that it tends to care more about quality than quantity.

--SaulPerdomo 02:54, 25 January 2007 (UTC)


I think more research needs to be done and the Abuse section re-written. In my experience with Image Labeler, it doesn't appear to be users typing in those canned words. It appears as if there is either some glitch in the game, or that Google is getting spammed by some kind of Bot with those words and they are getting into the game.

My guess is that this has somthing to do with advertising, and trying to get Adsense hits or something, but I don't really understand that entire process. Maybe some one with more knowledge can talk to this?

In any case, I am going to change the Abuse section to indicate that some type of abuse is going on but remove the reference to abusive users of the game.

Aren't they random words thrown in by the google bot (that guesses when a human opponent isn't available) for statistical reasons?

I agree, I was wondering if google had a computer player it would pair me with if it was out of people. Just speculation, but after seeing the different words being guessed it started me on a search that led to this article. Glad I'm not the only one thinking that its a google written bot.

One reason that players might want to type in these words is to match when they don't find a common word. After all, that could help them get higher up on the highscore list. Fuelbottle 19:21, 20 November 2006 (UTC)
There was once a bot or person that used only these words, which was rather annoying. When I was getting a seemingly stupid opponent I was typing "accretion" or "carcinoma" and if it matched, I reloaded the page to start a new game. I never encountered this guy recently. Now there seems to be a bot that remembers people's responce to particular pictures and uses these responces. When it encounters the "carcinoma guy", it associates these words with a picture and later reuses these words against human players. Why do I think it is a bot? There are several reasons:
  • It seems to run 24/7.
  • It sometimes cannot produce a single word for a picture, waits some time and then offers pass. I would assume that it sees the picture for the first time
  • It sometimes uses the words from the aforementioned list totally randomly.
I didn't deduce that the bot is written by Google, but it seems likely, since there are few humans playing in particular hours, and Google needs to entertain a rare visitor somehow, so he wouldn't leave after waiting several minutes for someone else.  Grue  18:35, 22 November 2006 (UTC)
I think the spam explanation is unlikely; there is no commercial advantage in getting lots of random images labeled "carcinoma" or "abrasives", as it would just dilute traffic to your own carcinoma or abrasives site. It might be a DDOS kind of attack, if the bot were just supplying these random words and never guessing anything appropriate to the picture, but that's not the case in my experience. I started playing recently and have found that I am getting a bot partner which supplies these words (along with others more appropriate to the image) probably well over half the time. I think it most likely an internal Google bot, since that would have most access to what labels other people have offered for a given picture in the past, and usually these random words show up along with some fairly reasonable labels for the same pictures. Maybe Google does this not only to offer a partner to people who play when not many others are playing, but to get a third opinion on labels that other players have agreed on. That still doesn't explain why the random words are thrown into the mix. --Jim Henry 17:41, 21 December 2006 (UTC)

Top score list?[edit]

Is it really appropriate to list the "top scorers" in the article? Since this presumably changes, and will change, over time, why we featuring users by name? It seems an unnecessary acknowledgement.

Agree, it's gone. Pimlottc 23:22, 11 November 2007 (UTC)

Regarding the Image Labeler 'game', it seems somewhat obvious that the indiscriminate use of irregular words such as diphosphonate, congenita, accretion, googley, forbearance, carcinoma, bequeathing, etc. are not accidental. Therefore, if there is some purpose behind this use of rare words, what IS that purpose ?

I don't subscribe to the spamming explanation, as Google surely knows what is happening, and could easily block these spammers and words long ago. It then appears that these incidences of junk words from our 'partner' occur with the blessing or design of Google.

If you notice, two things occur with regularity: as soon as an image appears, it says my 'partner' has already inputted 1-2 'guesses'. When you see those guesses later, they are usually words like diphosphonate or bequeathing....who can type THAT fast ?

Also, if you check your partner's 'guesses' afterwards, AND there are these junk words, those words are always the first guesses and not the final guesses.

So, what does it all mean ? My own theory is that we are always or almost always playing a bot, OR, that the program itself inserts these 'guesses' for us without our knowledge. Either way, we are REACTING, and those reactions determine the way we play subsequent games. And THAT is the information that Google is REALLY trying to gather. After all, I've seen some of these same images for days; they should be quite well labeled already. ( Also, have you noticed that the images are for the most part very ‘hazy’ ? )

In the end, we'll probably find that we were helping program some AI recognition function for GOOGLE, and we had FUN doing it !

PS Microsoft WORD spell-check does not recognize the 3rd grade words diphosphonate, congenita, or googley. Just when I was getting used to using them  ! PPS I'm going to start inserting the word 'miscellany' ( just cut and paste ) into as many images that I can. If others do the same, maybe we can 'teach' the bot something. 12-16-06 ChuckfromWicsc72.135.215.182 21:00, 16 December 2006 (UTC)

Microsoft Word spell check is not the be and end all of the English language. Diphosphonate happens to be a chemistry term, and very few of these technical or jargon words appear in the Microsoft dictionary. I'm writing a chemistry thesis and I never have spell check turned on because every second word ends up underlined in red :)

Afisch80 00:37, 14 June 2007 (UTC)

Today's Ranking[edit]

Today's Ranking 1. kly - guest 2055

does that make since to you? kinda odd... --69.242.139.45 19:38, 18 April 2007 (UTC)

Benefit to person taking part in the game?[edit]

I have added this 2 times already. I've played the game 3-4 times, and am wondering if the score means anything, or can be redeemed for something, anything? Does a person receive anything, like an advance viewing of an update to Gmail or something, or does a person just take part for the fun of taking part? My question, and then the new section I put the question in was deleted, and I still have same question. Can someone please answer if there is any benefit to someone taking part in Google Image Labeler beyond the joy of seeing it improve. I doubt I'm the only one who would like to know.

The answer will not change my mind about participating in the program. I live by Gmail, Notebook, Calendar, and Greasemonkey, I just want to know if there is anything for the user who takes part.

Thank You.

99.228.169.213 (talk) 17:57, 9 December 2007 (UTC) study puppy


Improvement[edit]

The game would be improved, and Googles metadata would be improved, by allowing players to specify areas of interest or special knowledge. It's frustrating seeing a picture of a Lockheed Constellation and your partner just types in "aircraft". On the other hand I wouldn't know what Brad Pitt looked like if he bit me on the bum -- frustrating for other players I'm sure. Surely it would be easy to have pictures initially sorted by in a general category, and then passed to a more specialised group depending on the initial categorisatation. Every time two or more pictures are given the same description that could become another group ripe for further specialisation. And it would be fascinating to see the "tree" of subjects that emerged.

But maybe there aren't emough people playing at any given moment to do that. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 58.96.19.126 (talk) 04:24, 9 September 2008 (UTC)
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