Interview with EMRAYS: Pioneers of Image Context AI for DAM


EMRAYS AI is the world’s first Image Context AI. AI and DAM integration empowers DAM users to search, select and sort images by context.

It’s about finding the most impactful images in a more intuitive way - all powered by the largest affective neural network, pre-trained on 4.5 billion data points.

If you’re not familiar with AI for DAM, that might not mean much to you. That’s why we asked Cliff Crosbie - Co-Founder and CXO of EMRAYS - to explain the product, its applications, and the benefits it brings to DAM users.

WoodWing Swivle is proud to partner with EMRAYS AI, delivering enhanced discoverability, usability, and ROI to Swivle customers.


Watch the integration demo of WoodWing Swivle and EMRAYS below.

"Our customers say EMRAYS AI saves them around 80% of the time they typically spend finding images."

AI technology for digital asset management software sounds very valuable for power users - people using their DAM to maximum capacity…?

Cliff: Absolutely. The sweet spot is when you have lots and lots of images and you want to get them organized. Marketers and content creators can find, rank, and cluster images in a completely new, natural, and intuitive way - ranking images by emotional impact or more abstract concepts.

I’ll give you an example of an individual using EMRAYS AI.

I'm thinking of one customer we worked with in the early days. He was writing an article on snow leopards and their natural environment. And he wanted to find the most impactful image to accompany it. In particular, he wanted to AMAZE people.

And the way he would normally do it was sourcing a few 100 images that he quite liked. And then he would assess and select one of these images. Or he would maybe go around his friends or people he knew and ask ‘Which do you like best?’

To test out the system, he sent us that stack of images of snow leopards and asked EMRAYS AI to pick the best - most AMAZING - image for his article. Something that had taken him over a week to do.

So we ran the article copy and image selections through EMRAYS. And, within a few seconds, we showed him the picture our AI had selected. And he just went quiet. Because it was exactly the image he’d selected manually himself. Just in a fraction of the time.

If you imagine that multiplied across all of the content in an organization, you’ll start to see the impact of Image Context AI.


Those time savings are impressive…

Cliff: Yes. Our customers say EMRAYS AI saves them around 80% of the time they typically spend finding images. It isn’t about replacing human judgment. It’s a tool to support decision-making.

It also lets you extract more value from your digital assets as well. Everyone's paying a lot of money to buy or commission imagery. So the best thing we can do is help them get more value out of their digital assets.

We can help them organize their images quickly, so that they can easily find the content that works best for them, especially using tools like visual search to find images that relate to one another. Plus they can make sure they’re not buying images twice by easily searching for duplicates.

Who are the main customers that benefit from AI and DAM integration with EMRAYS?

Cliff: Aside from our partnerships with DAM vendors, our direct customers tend to be design and marketing agencies. They’re looking for impactful images, and being able to organize and find the right content without spending do crazy amounts of time doing it manually.


Can you give us an example of how that works in practice? How does EMRAYS help agencies find the right imagery to support their storytelling?

Cliff: Say I want to find an image of snowy streets, for example, but I can't find one… I can take an image of a street without snow, and I can take another image of snow. And say I want it to be at sunrise, I can put in an image of a sunrise. And I will get back all the images of snowy streets at sunrise.

So rather than searching with words, I can use the images that match the kind of thing that I'm looking for. So it makes it far more creative and visual. You're more likely to get some success there than by purely using text to find images, as that relies on someone having added the right metadata and tags to retrieve a particular image.


WoodWing Swivle is an EMRAYS technology partner, which means our users can benefit from your Image Context AI within our DAM. What do you think about DAM vendors that are building their own AI technology and including it natively in their digital asset management products?

It's a great thing for digital asset management products to include AI capabilities. I think they're essential going forward. But it’s difficult for any software vendor to be an expert in everything. So we think it's a smart move to partner with third-party developers to deploy a highly specialized existing solution. It’s cheaper, faster, and more efficient than asking in-house developers to undertake a three or four-year project to create their own solution.

"It's a great thing for digital asset management products to include AI capabilities. I think they're essential going forward."

What does the future look like for AI / DAM integration - and for EMRAYS and their users specifically?

There’s so much going on with image processing and understanding the context of images. There’s a whole new arsenal of machine learning algorithms out there that are very relevant.

There are super-resolution networks that can take images that are very low res and turn them into high res. Then there’s predictive saliency mapping, which is about attention and attraction. We’re looking to do more with that.

But something really helpful for digital asset management users is likely to be librarian-type work, especially as the number of assets brands have to manage is multiplying. Say you have a million images and you need to sort them, sort the taxonomy out, and name everything. Jobs like that take weeks and weeks to do in some cases.

With EMRAYS AI, as we showed yesterday in our webinar (see video below), we can just sort these things in seconds. And then it just takes a human to go in and say ‘Okay, you've sorted this cluster, this looks about 95%, right, and I can name that cluster, and I've got a couple of images that I'll move over here.’ It’s a huge time-saving.

And now imagine all that done in VR! And suddenly, the librarian job becomes really super cool, like in the old Matrix films and Minority Report. We can see that happening, not so far away.


Turning your WoodWing Swivle DAM into a powerful AI platform with EMRAYS

cliff-crosbie.pngCliff Crosbie
Co-Founder and CXO, EMRAYS

Cliff is an experienced global executive, having held senior positions at Apple, IKEA, Nike, and Nokia over the last few decades.

More recently, Cliff has applied that experience in the world of AI, firstly in computer vision and now in EMRAYS, where we've created a totally new AI that we're now applying in the world of DAM and image management. It is transforming the way we work with images and organization, and ultimately the way that we work. He can't wait to show you!

EMRAYS image context AI helps you perform complex activities like finding all duplicates, searching by similarity, ranking by social impact and easily organizing all your assets, and creating your own, custom AI models.

Discover more


3 reasons why AI-powered DAM stands out from the crowd

Here’s 3 reasons why WoodWing Assets' AI feature stands out from the crowd.


AI & DAM: 3 things DAM users need to learn before getting started with AI

What you should know about Artificial Intelligence and Digital Asset Management.


AI-powered image optimization for publishers

Boosting quality and click-through-rate just got easier for publishers using DAM.

Magdalena Ivanova, Product Marketing Manager

Magdalena is a digital marketer and tech enthusiast with multiple marketing disciplines under her belt. Her articles cover various topics, including all things marketing, digital asset management, interviews, opinions etc. 
You can follow her on Twitter and connect with her on LinkedIn