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Computer Scientists Work to Revolutionize E-Commerce

Narrator: This is Science Today. Engineers at the University of California, Riverside are working on developing a comprehensive image database of insects, but the actual technology used for such a database could be further commercialized for a number of other uses, including e-commerce. Eamonn Keogh, an associate professor of computer science, explains.

Keogh: People are very interested in essentially copying the style of celebrities, so you might see Paris Hilton with a new pair of shoes, a new handbag, whatever it is. Wouldn't it be wonderful if you could simply click on that handbag and say, find me something like this? Or click on the pair of shoes and say, find something like this?

Narrator: Keogh says in a sense, this is the Holy Grail for e-commerce because consumers tend to be impulse buyers and are heavily influenced by celebrities.

Keogh: This idea of actually pulling out information from videos, from still images and finding similar objects on Amazon.com is quite a hot topic right now and several companies and universities are working on it, including ourselves.

Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.