The internet has been abuzz lately the recent popularisation of emerging AI services like ChatGPT. We don't want to just jump on the waggon but we have been testing a simple but exciting new tool which we think will provide a lot of value to our clients.
Computer Vision is a Microsoft Azure product which has existed in one form or another since 2016, but recently the WordPress integration for Computer Vision has gotten to a level of sophisticated that the tool has become really worth investigating. We’re now able to put Computer Vision to work within WordPress, to intelligently align images when WordPress creates crop-sizes for your images, creating a far more optimised experience without any effort on your end.
But let’s backtrack, what does that actually mean?
As show below, when you upload an image to the WordPress Media Library, to ensure make sure your website looks it’s best, with consistent image sizes and optimised file sizes, WordPress automatically crops your images to a variety of sizes and displays them according to your theme. Here at The DMA, we use these image sizes all the time to create featured post sections on the homepage of your website, galleries, post archives and a wide variety of other applications.
This system works well, which is why it’s been a staple of WordPress for many years. However, as you can see below, there are some drawbacks.
WordPress, not knowing any better has clipped our good friend the West-Highland Terrier our of the image, because WordPress simply crops the image so that the centre is featured in the thumbnail.
Using Microsoft’s Azure AI, Computer Vision allows the AI to make an intelligent guess on what the focal point of the image is, and based on that, re-align your imagery so that things are cropped correctly.
The difference is striking, and it’s small things like this which are the difference between your website looking sleek and professional even years after launch and the general clutter of un-optimised images creeping in over time.
Additionally, Computer Vision has one last trick up its sleeves. Automatically generated Alt text. For those of you who aren’t aware, Alt text is that small text which will appear when you hover an image. Alt text is really important to help make the internet more accessible as well as enhance your SEO performance… but we know better than anyone that we’re ALL guilty of neglecting alt text!
Computer Vision can help, with automatically generated alt text, the Azure AI fills in that often neglected space to help you make the most of your SEO.
There have always been work arounds for this kind of thing, but we’re always looking out for new ways to save time and make things easier, so we can focus on the more important aspects of looking after your website!