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regular-article-logo Wednesday, 21 February 2024

Letters to the editor: Limits of Google’s new AI-powered software Best Take in photography

Readers write in from North 24 Parganas, Bengaluru, Calcutta, Howrah, Mumbai, Tamil Nadu, Kanpur and Faridabad

The Editorial Board Published 07.11.23, 07:38 AM
Representational image

Representational image File picture

Say cheese

Sir — Photographers encounter several impediments while taking a good shot. Taking family photographs can be particularly daunting — either the children are distracted and the elderly not facing the camera or someone inevitably sports a subdued expression. Technology has come up with a solution to this problem. Google’s new Artificial Intelligence-powered software, Best Take, helps the photographer take the perfect picture by replacing frowns, closed eyes or people looking in the wrong direction by swapping their faces with those from previously taken photographs. While technology can relieve photographers from prodding their subjects to say ‘cheese’, one wonders whether it can capture the subtle and shifting equations among family members.

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Dinesh Sanyal, North 24 Parganas

Vindictive act

Sir — The Enforcement Directorate has claimed that the Chhattisgarh chief minister, Bhupesh Baghel, received a sum of Rs 508 crore as bribe from the promoters of the Mahadev betting app (“ED enforcing lies: Cong on Baghel raid”, Nov 5). Given that the matter is still under investigation, the allegation seems premature. Further, such a claim being made days before the state goes to elections bolsters the Opposition’s charge against the Bharatiya Janata Party-led dispensation weaponising Central agencies.

Concerningly, the ED made the allegation based solely on a forensic analysis and an alleged statement by a cash courier. Parroting the ED’s claim, the prime minister, Narendra Modi, stated during his recent election campaign that the Congress did not even “spare Mahadev’s name”. This is a bid to divide the electorate communally. The Election Commission of India should take cognisance of these statements, which are clearly a breach of the Model Code of Conduct.

S.K. Choudhury, Bengaluru

Sir — The performance of the Bhupesh Baghel-led government has been exemplary. This has consolidated its chances of returning to power. Sensing defeat, the BJP is trying to malign the image of the Congress regime in Chhattisgarh with false allegations of bribery. This only indicates the BJP’s falling prospects in the state. The results of the assembly polls will have a bearing on the outcome of the general elections next year.

Amit Brahmo, Calcutta

Sir — The Congress is justified in stating that the accusation being made by the ED against Bhupesh Baghel over his alleged involvement in the Mahadev betting app case is nothing but a ploy to soil his reputation ahead of the elections. It is hoped that the investigation will uncover the truth of the matter.

Manzur Hasan, Howrah

Populist device

Sir — While campaigning for the assembly elections in Chhattisgarh, the prime minister announced the extension of the free foodgrain scheme till 2028 (“Query: What about missing 10cr?”, Nov 6). It is unfortunate that the government wants the people to remain impoverished by ensuring their dependence on freebies. Instead, policies must be tailored to make the economically weaker sections more self-dependent.

Hassan Khan, Mumbai

Sir — The Centre’s decision to extend the free ration scheme for another five years is an indication of the continuing economic distress and the growing inequalities. Moreover, members of the government have been denigrating the rewdi culture lately. The decision thus contradicts the government’s own narrative.

H.N. Ramakrishna, Bengaluru

Birthday gift

Sir — Cricket fans all over the world were treated to a magnificent view at the Eden Gardens on Sunday evening as Virat Kohli scored his 49th ODI century in India’s match against South Africa in the ongoing World Cup (“This man is now 49, going on 50”, Nov 6). With this, Kohli equalled the record of his mentor, Sachin Tendulkar.

The ace cricketer had steered India to victory on several occasions with his masterly performances in all formats of the game. The latest century puts Kohli in the company of all-time greats like Donald Bradman, Garfield Sobers and Vivian Richards.

G. David Milton, Maruthancode, Tamil Nadu

Sir — What could be more thrilling for a cricketer than equalling the record of the legendary Sachin Tendulkar? Virat Kohli’s 49th ODI century on his 35th birthday has reserved his seat among the cricket legends. India’s victory against South Africa by 243 runs at the Eden Gardens made the evening more memorable. However, the Men In Blue should not be complacent at this stage and strive to sustain their winning streak.

Kirti Wadhawan, Kanpur

Piscine love

Sir — The significance of fish for Bengalis cannot be overstated (“A fish a day”, Nov 5). A staple in almost every Bengali household, a meal without fish is not worth having. It was thus amazing to read that in the last decade, fish consumption across India has almost doubled. However, it is not Bengal but Lakshadweep that consumes the most amount of fish in the country. Unfortunately, it is difficult to get access to good fish in Faridabad, where I have lived for most of my life.

Bidyut Kumar Chatterjee, Faridabad

Sir — Not just Bengalis but most people living along the coastal areas consume fish daily. This is because fish is a staple and a healthier alternative to meat. Steps must therefore be taken to curb overfishing and safeguard the piscine population. The benefits of eating fish are espoused by Jeeves — a fictional character created by P.G. Wodehouse — who solves all his master’s problems in a jiffy after consuming fish.

Anthony Henriques, Mumbai

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