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Digital Subscriptions > Writing Magazine > February 2017 > Judging books by their covers

Judging books by their covers

Brian Kenji Iwana and Seiichi Uchida, two researchers at Kyushu University in Japan, have trained a ‘deep neural network’ to analyse book covers to see if a computer can identify the genre of a book by its cover art and design. The network proved accurate 20% of the time, with the system doing well with books about computers and technology due to their generally similar layouts used. Cookbooks were also among the most easily identified, but only if the cover featured photos of food. If the image was of a chef the neural network tended to give ‘entirely ambiguous’ results.

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START FRESH: New year, new adventure • Build your confidence • Fix your bad habits Make 2017 your year! STAR interview: Elif Shafak: Writing across boundaries • 24 writing competitions to enter • £63,980 in writing prizes to be won

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