Sometimes you see a pattern on something — like a piece of clothing you can’t afford, or vintage wallpaper in a historic home — and fall in love. Sure, you can snap a photo of it and use it as a comparison, but that only gets you so far. If only there was a way to search for images using an actual image, instead of whatever highly-specific-but-never-effective description you come up with. Well, now there is (albeit in beta form). Here’s what to know.
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You give it an image and it returns more images that feel exactly like the one you started with. Some images may be the same subject, some may be the same lighting and colouring, or some have the same visual style. It works uncannily well. I can start with a piece of furniture, or a fabric design, or an album cover, or an Instagram travel photo, and I’ll get an endless mosaic of images with the same energy. Like Pinterest, I can select one of the offerings and then get more images similar to that one, and so on. Unlike Pinterest, I can also create a collection of images and use that to train an AI to find images that share qualities of the whole set. I find I could spend hours watching the endless results recreationally, like staring into ocean waves or a campfire.
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Same Energy’s core search uses deep learning. The most similar published work is CLIP by OpenAI.
The default feeds available on the home page are algorithmically curated: a seed of 5-20 images are selected by hand, then our system builds the feed by scanning millions of images in our index to find good matches for the seed images. You can create feeds in just the same way: save images to create a collection of seed images, then look at the recommended images.
So find a comfortable spot, and settle in: once you start using the search tool, it’s easy to spend hours discovering new images, patterns, prints and lighting.