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Reunited by app


By Raffy Paredes

While facial recognition apps have been receiving some flak because of intrusions into people’s privacy, the technology recently helped a Chinese man find his family after 27 years. As reported in It began in 2009, when Fu recalled memories of his earliest childhood with a family that wasn’t known to him. Back then, he uploaded a photo of himself at the age of 10 to China’s database for missing children. Eight years passed, and there was no result. But then, in early 2017, someone uploaded a photo of a four-year-old boy from Chongqing to the database. After a couple of weeks, Baidu’s facial recognition technology found the list of potential matches among the thousands of photos. Finally, it managed to match Fu’s photo with the one of the younger boy, uploaded eight years later. The algorithm works in a way that it compares individual face parts of the face, but it accounts for the changes that come with growing up. Thanks to this feature, Fu got the confirmation that he was the same boy in both photos, and he found his biological family after almost three decades. After the matching images, came the DNA test. It proved that Fu is indeed the four-year-old boy in the image his family posted to the database. He was one of 70,000 kids who went missing in 1990 after traffickers abducted them and sold them off. But thanks to the advanced AI, he and his family were reunited at last.

  • Powerful Bond (Mark D’Juan)

  • The Kids of Salaman (Gab Bantay)

  • Untitled (Mark Benalla)

  • My Sleeping Beauty (Armando Manuzon, Jr.)

  • Kasama Kang Tumanda (Cristan Pago)

  • Chillin (Christopher John V. Imperial)

  • The Rhythm is Gonna Get You (Bien Bacarra Jr.)

  • Labor Day Advocates (Cel Espiritu)

  • Candid Intimacy (Jan Miguel Lopez)

  • My Heart, My Soul and My Everything (Corlito Ignacio, Jr.)

    The comic xkcd ( as featured on PetaPixel has a funny graph on the difficulty of organizing your photo library. For one who takes a lot of photos (hundreds, if not thousands), looking at all the photos and deciding which ones to keep and which ones to delete (especially with a limited storage capacity) can certainly eat up a lot of your time. The xkcd’s solution: “A good lifehack is to use messy and unstable systems to organize your photos. That way, every five years or so it becomes obsolete and/or collapses, and you have to open it up and pick only your favorite pictures to salvage.”

    Google Photos version 2.13 available on Google Play can stabilize your shaky videos. To apply stabilization to any video you’ve shot already, open up a video, press edit, and then hit the new Stabilize option. The app then does its behind-the-scene work, stabilizing your video based on each frame. After its work is done — it will probably take at least aslong as the duration of your video — what you’ll have is some surprisingly smooth footage.As with YouTube’s video stabilization, you may notice slight warping or cropping in yourresulting video due to the nature of this type of digital stabilization (PetaPixel).

    Here’s news for doodlers. Google Creative Lab (GCL) has unveiled Autodraw, a free, web-based drawing tool, akin to autocorrect, that combines machine learning technology with artists’ drawings to make your doodles better. Autodraw allows you to draw an image on your phone, tablet or desktop computer, and then recognizes what you’re trying to draw and provides suggestions for a more refined version of your image. “Drawing on your phone or computer can be slow and difficult,” explains GCL creative technologist Dan Motzenbecker. Autodraw, he says, was therefore created to help you draw, making doodling “as easy and fast as everything else on the web” and “more accessible and fun for everyone.” Have fun doodling at (

    And now to our featured readers with new contributors, previously featured readers, and the top four winners in the recently concluded Circle of Elite Photographers (COEP) photo contest with the theme “Heart& Soul – What Makes Your Photography Special.”

    Corlito Ignacio Jr. of Lingayen, Pangasinan reaped the top prize in the COEP competition with his photo titled “My Heart, My Soul and My Everything.” Corlito’s photo description: “Doing the multitasking, holding the trigger remote to take a perfect photo of me with my lovely wife. This picture is super special to me because it symbolized our 19th year of endless love, a picture that we will cherish for a lifetime.”

    First place went to Armando Manuzon Jr. of Layunan, Binangonan, Rizal for his photo, “My Sleeping Beauty.” “Here is my daughter; she was six months old when I took this photo. I made that small bed myself for me to create that stunning photo. I always want the best for her and I believe any father will do the same thing for their daughter.”

    Cristan Pago of Legazpi City took second place with his photo, “Kasama Kang Tumanda.” “In a world where love has become so rare, this couple proves otherwise. The sincere smile that ornaments their wrinkled faces glorifies the beauty of love. They are old and grey but they are still on their journey. Their happy countenance doesn’t mean that they had the perfect kind of love. There were ups and downs, and a lot of bitter-sweet memories. But love was kind enough to bring them to where they are today.”

    And Mark D’Juan of Quezon City completes the top entries as runner-up for the photo, “Powerful Bond.” “Mothers’ love and emotional availability are vital to their children’s well-being. To shape their conscience and teach them with lessons of love by having a strong and powerful bond.”

    New contributor Gabriel Bantay, a secondary education student from Bataan Peninsula State University sent in the group photo of children titled “The Kids of Salaman.” “The kids are the locals of Salaman Beach, Bagac, Bataan,” narrates Gab. “The moment we arrived, they welcomed us with their joyful and natural smiles; it seemed that they were really excited whenever guests or tourists arrive. Aside from the beautiful landscapes and beaches, these kids are one of my reasons of going back.”

    Bien Bacarra shares “The Rhythm is Gonna Get You.” “The event is a fundraising campaign for one of our co-employee who got shot from behind by an unknown gunman,” relates Bien. “He is still confined on a hospital but half of his body is paralyzed. I placed the external flash in front of the stage and using a remote trigger. I took the shot when I saw the drummer’s eye.”

    The photo “Labor Day Advocates” comes from Cel Espiritu. She shares: “The photo shows how the Labor Day advocates try to get the government’s attention for their desire of asking direct employment and not through agencies. This was taken during the Labor Day’s celebration along Mendiola.”

    Christopher John Imperial, an events photographer who started professionally just last year submitted the black-and-white photo titled “Chillin.” “It was taken on April 23 in Butuan at the Balangay Ship building site,” he recounts. “I saw the children enjoying the river by themselves and I asked their permission if I could take some pictures of them and they happily obliged.”

    From Jan Miguel Lopez, a BSHRM student at the Laguna State Polytechnic University-San Pablo City Campus is the photo, “Candid Intimacy.” His photo description reads: “Smile for everyday living and everything will be alright. Don’t carry too much weight and try to loosen up as you embrace changes and one’s flaws.”

    Mark Benalla completes today’s photo entries with his untitled black-and-white shadow photo taken in the vicinity of the Quiapo church.

    Readers may now view issues of Picture Perfect including this column at For comments, suggestions or just to share an image or idea, email or

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