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article imageOp-Ed: How old do you look? Ask How

By Paul Wallis     May 1, 2015 in Technology
Sydney - New facial recognition software from Microsoft is getting a lot of attention. This is a basic estimate, and different photos produce different ages. I’m anywhere between 36 and 62, according to How Old Do I Look.
This software isn’t quite as simple as the usual human guess. It needs parameters and a range of metrics. It also needs to figure out whether you’re male or female. From the pre-built-in “Sorry” text on the site, I’d say the inventors are being pretty realistic about their work.
The estimates are based on algorithms, and is producing some interesting results. Madonna dropped 25 years, and Keith Richards added a couple on a terrible pic where he looks about 100+ in very harsh lighting. There are a few issues with facial angles, 3/4 or side angles not as good as full face. Apparently a stray decade, more or less, is normal.
The net hasn’t been slow to take up memes for this thing. George Bush got a picture with the age tag as 911. A piece of toast with a face of Jesus was aged at 77.
The use of this software could be a lot less cosmetic. Aged care, for example, could be assessed, or sudden visible aging could be interpreted as a symptom of disease. Cosmetic surgery and skin treatments could also use this sort of software for a more accurate assessment of the actual value of things like skin treatment lasers.
I can say that the software is pretty good, at least for me. I used a fuzzy Skype picture of myself and a puppy very aptly called Jet, (he now has his own soccer team) and was estimated to be 36. OK, so I cheated, but after all, time is relative…
If you’d like to check out the software, it’s here on How Select a few pics, preferably a decent age range, and see how you go. Me, I’ll settle for 36.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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