Access to software that performs complex operations has been, and can still be, costly. Paying for expensive licenses can mean an alternative solution has to be sought or worse still, a feature won't be developed at all. Thanks to virtualization and a many other cloud features, we've seen these complex operations offered as services at a fraction of the cost. One such complex operation is that of facial recognition. This software hasn't seemed accessible at all with only applications such as Google Picasa, Apple's iPhoto, Facebook and more recently XBox Kinect being the most obvious examples where it has been used. These are big companies with big money to spend. This now changes as Face.com is offering a free to use face recognition API for photos.
RAISR, Google's proof-of-concept, neural-network-backed image sampler, represents a fundamental shift to the visual paradigm of the web. Though it's true impact is still a ways away, it marks the point where people in the front-end world should start to get very interested in machine learning.
The popular picture-sharing empire behind I Can Has Cheezburger lets you view, caption and share funny images. You can do this via its sites and, the now, thanks to their API, you can do it via code (technical details at our Cheezburger API profile).