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Google's new 'Emoji Scavenger Hunt' game uses your device's camera and AI to scan emojis in real life

Are you one of the types of smartphone users who download a new game every other day because you got bored of the previous one? Ever caught yourself wondering what new and fun way an app developer could come up with to create a new game?

If you answered yes to either one of the two questions above, then you’re in for a delightful surprise from Google. The tech giant recently circulated an app called Emoji Scavenger Hunt. Once you tap to play the game, the app will show an animated version of an object on the screen – say a shoe or a pen. Then, you’ll have to find the real version of that object and point your camera to it. The app will be able to understand if the object you’re pointing at is the one you should be looking for. Is that all? No, that’s not all. There’s a timer you have to beat.

The game itself definitely seems like something you could spend a few hours playing around with. But what’s more interesting, is that the entire app was TensorFlow’s open-source framework for machine learning with JavaScript and developed by the AI Experiments initiative, which is ‘a showcase for simple experiments that make it easier for anyone to start exploring machine learning, through pictures, drawings, language, music, and more’, as the website touts.

What this proves, is that AI can be used for education purposes from virtually any user, regardless of their technical expertise.

At this point it is worth mentioning that Google has stressed out that none of the content that user shows with his or her camera is shared or stored on any other device other than the user’s device. Everything is done locally. It may seem like a kind of unnecessary clarification, but boy oh boy have we had enough security concerns and breaches in the digital information world so far.

For the record, the game was inspired by the company’s Google Lens feature, that we first met on the Pixel 2’s rear camera. For those who need to freshen up their memory, this feature uses your device’s camera to give you information on what you’re looking at while in some cases it can also recognize specific actions and react in order to assist. For instance, during the exhibition of this show, Google CEO Sundar Pichai demonstrated the phone’s camera aiming at the label of a WiFi router, where the password was written on. As you’d expect, the phone connected to that network using the password that was provided by the camera.

Back to our game now, unfortunately you can only find it in this link for the time being. The game is available only for smartphones and tablets, but not for desktops and laptops. Still, it’s available neither on Play Store nor on the App Store; and there’s a good explanation about that.

A few hours after the company had announced its new fun game and the capabilities of AI that it would showcase, an app with the exact same name popped up on Play Store, developed by Arpit K, an Indian based developer account which is unsure if it’s a team/firm or an individual. While the game itself looks identical to the version you’ll find in the link above, it’s definitely not made by Google. We could either be looking on either a scam or a brilliant strategic plan to get money from the big G.

In any case, make sure to check out the legit version of the game and let us know what you think in the comments below!

Published : May 24 2018
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