Amazon, meanwhile, is making moves to bolster its apparel business, developing its own clothing brands, investing in high-quality photography for products, and launching Prime Wardrobe, which lets customers try on clothes before buying them. Its Echo Look app will even give you feedback on your outfits.
But Amazon appears to be pushing that algorithmic approach even further. For instance, one group of Amazon researchers based in Israel developed machine learning that, by analyzing just a few labels attached to images, can deduce whether a particular look can be considered stylish. The software could conceivably provide fashion feedback or recommendations for adjustments. The work is innovative because computers usually require extensive labeling in order to learn from visual information. But in many real-world situations, such as an image posted to Instagram, there might be just one label.
An Amazon team at Lab126, a research center based in San Francisco, has developed an algorithm that learns about a particular style of fashion from images, and can then generate new items in similar styles from scratch—essentially, a simple AI fashion designer. The approach is crude and hardly ready for Project Runway, but it hints at the possibilities.
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