Establish an AI Operating Model and get out of prototype and into production
March 9, 2018

Train a Custom Visual Recognition Model Using Clarifai's Python Client

Table of Contents:

Last week, our v2 API graduated from developer preview to general availability. Don’t they grow up so fast?! As such, here is a useful tutorial on how to use one of Clarifai v2 API’s most popular features – Custom Training. Custom Training gives you the ability to teach new concepts for our technology to recognize using only a handful of examples and a couple lines of code!

If you’ve seen our new v2 API documentation, you’ve probably noticed that things are a bit different than they were in v1 – new SDKs, a cool new visual tool, and new projects waiting for you to build them using Custom Training! In one of our previous blog posts, we talk about how to use the Preview UI for Custom Training. While that was awesome (like really awesome), we’re gonna crank it up a gear and show you how to do some of the same things using _PROGRAMMING_.

# An API Client

First thing’s first, we are gonna need to find a way to interface with the API with our code. We have written a few different clients for you to use in several different languages. For this tutorial, we are gonna stick with the Python client. Who doesn’t like programming languages that came out of Monty Python?

NOTE: Be sure to have installed a Python that is at least 2.7 or higher. If you aren’t sure what which one you might have, go into your terminal and check out what `python –version` gets out for you. For instance this is what happens on my system:

$ python --version
Python 2.7.10
# Or if you are using Python3
# Python 3.5.1

Also to install the Clarifai API Client, we are gonna make sure we have pip, the Python Package manager:

$ pip --version
pip 9.0.1 from /path/to/Python/2.7/site-packages (python 2.7)
# or if you are using Python3
# pip 9.0.1 from /path/to/python3.5/site-packages (python 3.5)

With those two out of the way, we can now finally get to installing the Python Client!

$ pip install clarifai
# NOTE: If this doesn’t work, consider having a sudo in front of the command to tell your computer who is boss.

If that went off without a hitch, we need to do one more thing before we can write our Custom Training. We are going to add our Client ID and Client Secret into our app. Every time you want to hit Clarifai, you want to be sure to have these two at least! No matter what language you are using, this will be the only way you can get access. So head over to the Developer website, and create yourself a new application:


Once that is done, head back to terminal and type in:

$ clarifai config

When you hit enter, it will prompt you to put in your Client ID and Client Secret, respectively. That way, when we make calls, this doesn’t have to be saved in your project but on your file system so long as you are using that particular Application:

CLARIFAI_APP_ID: []: ************************************YQEd
CLARIFAI_APP_SECRET: []: ************************************gCqT

Congratulations! If you made it this far, you have successfully added the Clarifai Python client to your system. Go you! Now, with that out of the way, we are gonna write some code!