Pond5 Taps Artificial Intelligence to Improve Media Uploading and Discovery

Posted by on Thursday February 25, 2016 | Media


In the dystopian future every sci-fi fan knows by heart, artificial intelligence invariably enslaves or destroys humanity.

And maybe that enslavement is just around the corner (opinions vary), but in 2016, AI is used to put tags on your photos and videos.

The creative asset market Pond5 is the latest company to harness AI to make its image database more efficient, following similar moves by Flickr, ImageBrief, Eye-Fi and others. The company announced today that it will use AI to power two new features in its stock marketplace.

The first is dubbed NextSense, which uses image recognition powered by artificial neural networks to scan the contents of uploaded files and automatically apply up to 20 “hyper-specialized” tags on them to make finding them easier. Users are free to edit these tags, and add more of their own. The idea, says co-CEO Ryan Scott, is to streamline the process for creatives and make their media easier for buyers to find.


The other AI-powered feature is Visual Discovery, which uses machine learning to anticipate what a user wants based on their search terms and browsing. Rather than just scooping up media with related tags, Visual Discovery goes deeper to pull images with similar aesthetics, angles as well as media that’s trending in its community. The company did extensive research on how buyers selected media and found that when using the AI-powered discovery features to winnow down their choices, they had much higher response rates and customer satisfaction, Scott tells us. “It may not get it right 100 percent of the time,” Scott adds, but it will also improve with more time and more data.

Beyond its budding Skynet, Pond5 is introducing a two-tiered subscription plan, which launches at a 50 percent discount for a limited time. Buyers can purchase assets as they go, or sign up for a Pro Membership ­plan for $49/month ($349/year) for up to five HD downloads per month and 10 percent off additional downloads. A Premium Membership ­plan for $89/month or $599/year ­comes with 10 4K downloads a month plus a 10 percent discount on additional downloads.

Pond5’s artist portfolio page have also been changed with the ability to upload header images, personalize a bio, and hand curate your media.

Pond5 boasts over 40,000 contributing artists from over 150 countries. It hosts over 4 million royalty-free video clips and millions of photos, sound effects, music and media.