New Algorithm Detects Nudity in Images

An algorithm has been compiled which analyses colour images and flags anything deemed to be nude content. The website, launched this month and allows users to test the obscenity of images either hosted online or on your computer. All you have to do is drag and drop the image or paste in the target URL.

So how does it all work? The procedure is built upon an algorithm by Hideo Hattori and a paper authored by Rigan Ap-apid entitled, “”An Algorithm for Nudity Detection”. In the research, Ap-apid explains,

“A skin colour distribution model based on the RGB, Normalized RGB, and HSV colour spaces is constructed using correlation and linear regression. The skin color model is used to identify and locate skin regions in an image. These regions are analysed for clues indicating nudity or non-nudity such as their sizes and relative distances from each other. Based on these clues and the percentage of skin in the image, an image is classified nude or non-nude.”

The programming while fairly accurate is still prone to mistakes and in the early phases of development. Enabling an open testing model to the public will help to enhance the software’s database. The real question is, who would use this technology? Perhaps child-friendly sites need to moderate uploads and check the suitability of adverts. Webmasters might find it handy to automate any type of nude spam. However, surely common sense is more than enough to know if an image contains graphic content. My biggest concern is this technology or other variants which use algorithm scanning could be a tool for control and allow governments to censor content they deem inappropriate.

Do you feel this is a necessary piece of technology?

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