Manually identifying and labeling the visual content of comics, graphic novels, and Japanese manga have always posed a challenge. Traditional methods require substantial time and labor. The task of tagging, done by human annotators, becomes increasingly cumbersome as the volume of images to be annotated escalates. The problem exacerbates with different artists employing varied drawing styles and qualities, which often change with each issue or even within the same issue. Even automated tagging systems find these variations challenging to handle, recognizing only a subset of the drawing styles.
Disney Enterprises has responded to this problem with a solution. They've secured a new patent, US20230267754A1, for an invention titled 'Automated Content Analysis and Annotation.' The technology functionally acts as a computer program that can scrutinize an image, divide it into sectors, recognize distinct features within each sector, and compare them to features from other sectors. It uses these distinct features to apply labels or annotations to each sector. This process significantly aids in understanding the image better.
Imagine being a comic book enthusiast searching for a specific issue where the character wore a particular attire or had a unique expression. With this feature tagging program, the search becomes as easy as looking for a word in a document. The program can also recognize the drawing styles of varied artists, making the search practical and efficient, even across different issues.
Moreover, this technology translates into other visual media forms, including photos, illustrated books, and video content, ushering a new era of visual media consumption and exploration. Whether a scholar researching specific artistic elements across a series of graphic novels, a parent hunting for a kid-friendly illustrated book with a particular character, or a film student analyzing film clips with similar cinematic themes, Disney’s innovative patent makes the impossible, possible.
However, it is essential to remember that this technology is still in its patent stage. Like any other patent, there is no guarantee that it will enter the market. Even so, the potential it offers to change our interaction with visual media is exciting.
P.S. A patent such as this only denotes a legal right accorded for an invention, granting the patent holder exclusive rights to the invention. This does not necessarily mean that the invention will surely hit the market or become commercially available. Always cross-check the status of a patent before making assumptions about its market availability.