Google Photos is a wonderful service that allows you to create automatic albums based on recognisable factors in the picture. This is through the wonders of machine learning, which — to date — is only as good as the available information. Google has recognised this and is now allowing Android users to assist in further developing their machine learning capabilities.

How does it work?

You’ll have to “volunteer” a bit of your time in the Google Photos app by hitting the button you’ll find at the bottom of the search screen. Then you simply need to follow the bouncing ball and identify “what’s important” in the photo.

When you have had enough of that process, you’ll be taken to another screen where you have further options to assist:

  • Understanding your photos: We’d like to learn what’s important to you.
  • Printing preferences: Help us understand what you’d like to print
  • Made for you: Help us create better collages, animations, and more
  • Holiday photos: Help us learn which photos show a certain holiday or event

The feature has been rolled out with the latest update to the Photos app on Android. It’s not something that Google is forcing on users, as evidenced by the fact you need to look for it. Ultimately, some will say this is about gathering more information about us but I choose the optimistic version where it’s about making Google Photos a better user experience.