From garment design to trend spotting to copyright protection, artificial intelligence is poised to revolutionize the apparel industry.

A quick search of #fashion on Instagram brings up more than half a billion results. It would be nearly impossible for one person – or even a dedicated team – to tease out meaningful trends and insights from such an onslaught of visual data.

For an AI (properly trained with the right algorithms), it’s a piece of cake, according to Kavita Bala, chair of the computer science department at Cornell University. She and her team used artificial intelligence (AI) to create a map of style trends and influencers by analyzing 14.5 million photos of people shared publicly on social media. Bala’s StreetStyle project can answer questions like: How many people wear black in Los Angeles today, compared with two years ago? Or, where in the world is the hijab most prevalent? Read More