The tool is the latest among attention-getting efforts to display developments in artificial intelligence.

Share story

Microsoft’s latest trick: analyzing a photo to identify the dog breed of your canine companion.

The tool, released on Thursday and dubbed Fetch, lives at and comes as a Web app or download for devices running Apple’s iOS. It’s the latest in Microsoft’s campaign to advertise the potential of machine-learning research being done by a Microsoft Research group in Cambridge, U.K., and other engineers and researchers at the Redmond company.

Previous Internet-friendly efforts include apps that tried to peg your age, reviewed mustaches and evaluated whether two people looked like twins.

The attention-seeking tools highlight the progress computer-science researchers are making in a key area of artificial intelligence. Computers are great at solving defined problems and making quick calculations, but identifying the content of images has proved a stumbling point for developing smarter software.