A computer program can scan your sketches and search for a photograph that looks just like them.
Hays and his team recruited 664 workers on crowdsourcing platform Amazon Mechanical Turk to make sketches.
Each snap fell into one of 125 categories of recognisable objects, such as beetle, sword, banana or rocket.
Police could catch criminals by searching databases with drawings made by criminal sketch artists
To match the sketches to the original photographs, two neural networks collaborated.
Hospedales and his colleagues developed a program that can match sketches of shoes and chairs with similar photographs, which they will present next month at the Computer Vision Pattern Recognition conference in Las Vegas.
Maybe you want to express the style with a sketch and then retrieve photos in that style from your favourite online shopping site.